Forum attendees reminded that small business is big business

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So well received was David Eaton’s keynote address to the local business community back in 2015, the City invited him back.

More than 140 members of the local business community and key City stakeholders were at Joondalup Resort on Thursday 21 March to hear the WA Small Business Development Commissioner, and CEO of the Small Business Development Corporation (SBDC), present an overview of various State Government-funded support services for local businesses.

Given that given small and micro-sized enterprises (less than 20 employees) represent almost 98% of all businesses in Joondalup, the theme: Small Business Support – Start Grow Prosper, proved a particularly engaging topic for those in attendance.

This morning’s forum came about in part due to the results of a City of Joondalup Business Needs Survey, which indicated that many local businesses needed more assistance to improve their skills in areas such as online marketing, information technology and business strategy.

The survey results for instance found that 21% of local businesses had no online presence – a worrying statistic.

Mr Eaton said it was great to see the City of Joondalup adopting such a positive approach to supporting local small businesses.

“Signing up to the SBDC’s Small Business Friendly Local Governments initiative showed the City’s public commitment to the sector. From being one of the initiative’s early adopters, 29 other local authorities in WA have now made the commitment,” he said.

“As the Small Business Commissioner, I encourage all business owners to seek help when starting or growing their enterprises, or when they find themselves in difficulty. My advice is to seek assistance and to seek it early. There are many organisations offering support, which can lead to a confusing landscape for small business owners.

“If you don’t know where to start, I recommend contacting the SBDC first. We offer a wealth of free advice and guidance, you can talk to a real person, and if we’re unable to assist, we will direct you to the most appropriate organisation that can.”

Joondalup Mayor Albert Jacob said small business was the backbone of the City’s economy and it was imperative that business owners were aware of the many avenues open to them to help make their business grow and prosper in the long term.

“Running and growing a business is not easy – it takes dedication, time, skill and most importantly, it takes courage. Sometimes businesses need to have the courage to recognise when they need help in certain areas where they might lack expertise,” he said.

“The City’s objective to grow employment in the Joondalup City Centre to 45,000 jobs by 2050 is well on track. By driving more jobs and investment into our City Centre, it will lead to more people and more money being spent in the Joondalup economy.

“We know that the local businesses are already beginning to see the benefits of having more workers in the heart of our City generating demand for goods and services.”

Joondalup CEO Garry Hunt said that according to the ABS Census, in 2016 the private sector contributed 83% of all employment in the City of Joondalup – a little over 38,000 of the total 46,000 jobs.

“As a City we want to ensure that all businesses – no matter what size – have access to the right level of support so that they can Start – Grow – and Prosper,” he said.

Mr Hunt encouraged forum attendees to take advantage of the business support services offered by the SBDC, Business Station and the City’s Economic Development team.

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