Micro business receives helping hand.
Regional micro-businesses can now receive support to adapt their business to COVID normal conditions. Any business with four staff or less can access mentoring and accredited training to help refocus their operations or meet new demands.
Pictured L to R: Damien Stroud, Real Rustic Designs; Ashley Hansen, Arty Ape Creative; Paul and Kate Little, EcoGrowers
My Pathway delivers the fully funded New Business Assistance with NEIS program in Cairns, Townsville and Mackay regions and is ready for new participants. The program offers experienced business mentors and an established network of self-employed business owners.
My Pathway Program Manager, Janet McIntyre, said 2020 had forced entrepreneurship from new and existing business.
“This financial year, My Pathway has helped more than 130 new businesses to emerge in regional Queensland. Empowering small and family-owned businesses is especially important for regional areas where they have a significant impact on the local economy and provide employment,” she said.
“We’re looking forward to expanding our service to existing micro business to assist them find and take hold of new opportunities. This will build on our network of entrepreneurs achieving a great mix of new operators and experienced business owners.
“In 2020, many of us renewed our loyalty to local product and service providers who continued to support our communities through restricted periods. It’s a great time for small business owners to reclaim local and new markets, and we can help them to do that.”
Real Rustic Designs owner, Damien Stroud, said he had been thankful for the support and advice the NEIS program provided when he established his business in early April 2020, right as the pandemic took hold.
“The regular contact and local knowledge of the My Pathway mentors was invaluable. Their calm and focused approach really helped me continue to build my business. I think this would assist other business, new or existing during these times,” he said.
“There is a real desire to buy local now, so being somewhat isolated in Cairns, along with the reinvigorated redecorating market has really helped me take off, I’m flat out.”
Arty Ape Creative owner, Ashley Hansen, said the program had been invaluable to commence business in a post-pandemic environment.
“The support to develop business plans and understand financials was a huge help and the My Pathway team were generous with their feedback and answering my questions. They have supported me through the start-up period where I’ve needed to build a customer base and promote my business.
EcoGrowers owner, Kate Little, said My Pathway had helped develop business acumen and prepare for online sales.
“My Pathway assisted us to develop a better understanding of management and marketing systems, marketing advice and support that may be beneficial for businesses looking to transition from brick-and-mortar to online in this new environment.”
The New Business Assistance with NEIS program is a fully funded Australian Government initiative.