What an absolute pleasure it was to hear the announcement on September 16 that the lockdown in the Upper Hunter was being lifted.
My mind instantly went to our local business community and what relief they must be feeling.
While restrictions are easing, the road to recovery may be long for many and so the chamber will continue to support its local business community through this time and beyond.
The chamber are in talks with funding bodies regarding additional supports needed in the COVID relief effort, as well as working on collaborative projects with local professional services to deliver programs that will further support local businesses.
The chamber reached out to Upper hunter MP Dave Layzell a couple of weeks ago regarding current funding and support gaps for small businesses during COVID.
Dave acknowledged small businesses were suffering due to restrictions and setup a Virtual Small Business Forum to discuss concerns. This took place on September 16.
The forum was highly informative and included guest speakers; Minister for Finance and Small Business, Damien Tudehope, Small Business Commissioner, Chris Lamont and a reprehensive from Services NSW who discussed funding and support available.
The mood was generally optimistic with the end to lockdown announcements only taking place a few hours before.
The strongest message to businesses who took part was - 'don't self-assess when it comes to funding and support'.
This often means contacting a Business Concierge at Services NSW or even speaking with the Commissioner to get clearer answers.
Many businesses who think they are not eligible are actually able to get funding and support when reaching out. This is something the Chamber sees often and a message we continue to relay to businesses.
As always, please feel free to get in touch with me if you need any support email@example.com .