Business Ready Programs to help businesses emerge stronger from COVID-19 challenge

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The City of Joondalup will do all it can to help local businesses emerge stronger from the challenges presented by COVID-19.

Thirty local businesses were recently selected to take part in the City’s Business Ready pilot program where industry experts will help them boost their capabilities in destination marketing, digital transformation and global market access.

With businesses facing unprecedented challenges, these programs also present a timely and valuable opportunity for participants to look critically at their operations, service delivery and product offerings.

Developed in consultation with the local business community, the three Business Ready programs are underpinned by the specialist themes outlined in the City’s Economic Development Strategy:

  • Destination City: To recognise the value and opportunity of the visitor economy and tourism activity
  • Digital City: To support the application of new technologies and innovation to enhance business growth
  • Global City: To position and focus the City’s economic activity in an international context

Successful applicants include home-based businesses, sole traders, retail and food outlets, creative industries, education and information technology providers and professional services.

Joondalup Mayor Albert Jacob said COVID-19 could forever change the way people do business.

“Innovation and adaptability will become critical to ensure business continuity and recovery from the various challenges presented by COVID-19,” he said.

“All businesses – not just those involved in Business Ready – should take some time to investigate ways they can do business differently – and perhaps better – in the current landscape.“Our City and its Council will do what it can to keep the local economy afloat and support businesses to be connected, innovative, resilient and nimble – and to eventually thrive and grow when things start to return to normal.”

Destination Ready program facilitator Verity Nelson, a sales and marketing expert, said while COVID-19 had already crippled many small businesses, it presented an opportunity for others to reset and potentially reinvent their business models.

“The Destination Ready Program will dissect, investigate and identify opportunities that will fortify these businesses when they reopen, putting them in a prime position to maximise opportunities and help drive new business,” she said.

Silvana Macri, of Stay Cyber Safe, will drive the Digital Ready Program. She said that enhancing digital capabilities were more crucial than ever so businesses could thrive in an economy that is now reliant on online transactions.

“Digital Ready provides businesses with the tools and safeguards to do this effectively while managing the cyber risks that come with being in the digital space,” she said.

The Head of Trade and Investment at WA Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Michael Carter will lead the Global Ready program.

He said: “It’s terrific to be working with the City of Joondalup to assist SMEs (small to medium enterprises) in exploring pathways to develop their business focus of international trading (exporting or importing) and investment readiness.”

Basia Gucwa, founder of Joondalup-based Fence Makeovers, is one of the program participants. She said the program would help boost the family-run business’ social media engagement and encourage them to more deeply analyse operations to ensure continued success into the future.