Following the success of a pilot program delivered earlier this year, the City of Fremantle has committed to continuing the delivery of its Business Capacity Building Program.
The program provides small businesses in Fremantle access to subsidised training, support and one-on-one mentoring.
The City will continue to partner with independent small business advocates Freo Now and local business support organisation Business Foundations.
The City has also teamed up with the Fremantle Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Council WA to diversify the support on offer and provide alternative ways for businesses to engage with the program.
Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt said the Capacity Building Program was one of the many ways the City was supporting local businesses in a tough economic climate.
“While there are lots of positive signs for Fremantle’s economy and some exciting developments on the horizon, we recognise that it will take some time for small business to realise these benefits on the ground,” Mayor Pettitt said.
“Bricks and mortar retailers around the world are under pressure from online shopping and the WA economy at the moment is flat.
“It can be the small things that make or break a business, so we want to provide meaningful and useful support to help businesses navigate this challenging time.”
In recognition of the importance of growing the tourism sector, the City will be delivering three workshops facilitated by Tourism Council WA exclusively for Fremantle tourism businesses.
The workshops will focus on taking advantage of the global travel distribution system, which enables businesses to establish connections with wholesaler and travel agents to promote their products nationally and internationally.
Tourism Council WA Chief Executive Evan Hall said the travel distribution system was an important mechanism for promoting WA’s tourism product but it could be complex and daunting for small tourism operators to navigate.
“Fremantle is an important drawcard for tourism in Western Australia,” Mr Hall said.
“We’re pleased to be working with the City of Fremantle to assist in supporting the growth of tourism operators in one of our most significant tourism destinations.”
The dates for the tourism workshops are still to be finalised but it’s likely they’ll be held in October, November and December this year.
Following a successful trial during the pilot period, the Fremantle Chamber of Commerce will deliver a series of ‘Set the Month in Motion’ workshops and podcasts throughout the year.
The workshops and podcasts will focus on issues, challenges and areas of interest for small business and feature guest speakers and experts in a variety of business related fields.
In recognition of the time pressures that come with running a small business, the podcasts are available for businesses that are unable to attend the workshops, giving further opportunity for busy small business leaders to learn in a format that suits them.
Fremantle Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive Danicia Quinlan said the program would help small businesses to develop strategies to overcome the current economic headwinds.
“Providing the opportunity for small retailers to find new and creative ways to grow their business is really important,” Ms Quinlan said.
“We welcome the opportunity to partner with the City in delivering this program.”
Freo Now will continue to offer one-on-one assistance with sales, promotion and financial management, while Business Foundations will provide general business advice and performance assessment services.
In addition to mentoring and training, the Capacity Building Program also provides the Fremantle business community with access to the online grant portal, the Fremantle Funding Finder.
Powered by GrantGuru, the portal lists the grants and funding opportunities being offered by a range of agencies throughout Australia.