Small businesses in Fremantle will have access to subsidised training, support and mentoring under a new pilot program being trialled by the City of Fremantle.
The City has appointed independent small business advocates Freo Now and local business support organisation Business Foundations to offer the Business Capacity Building program.
The program will initially be open to up to 40 retail or hospitality, bricks and mortar small businesses based in the City of Fremantle, with the City contributing 80 per cent of the cost.
Business Foundations will provide general business advice and performance assessment services, while Freo Now will offer assistance with sales and promotion and financial management.
At the end of the pilot period, the City will consider extending and broadening the program based on the feedback of businesses and the service providers.
Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt said the capacity building program was designed to give local small businesses a helping hand in a tough economic climate.
“More often than not small business owners are so busy with the day-to-day running of the business that they don’t have time to think about things like updating their book keeping processes or refreshing their online and social media presence,” Mayor Pettitt said.
“And yet, in a time where bricks and mortar retailers around the world are under pressure from online shopping, it can be these things that make or break a business.
“Both Freo Now and Business Foundations have advisors with extensive experience in supporting small businesses and can offer hands-on, practical advice on how to grow your business.”
Scott McAllister from local kitchenware shop The Home Provedore said the business mentoring and support he’d received in the past had proven to be very valuable.
“As a member of Freo Now I’ve had the opportunity to receive business coaching which I’ve found to be extremely helpful,” Mr McAllister said.
“I would encourage all businesses to avail themselves of this initiative.”
Fremantle Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive Officer Danicia Quinlan said the chamber supported the program.
“Providing the opportunity for small retailers and venues to leave the daily grind of their business in this challenging market and find new and creative ways to grow their business is so important,” Ms Quinlan said.
“We really welcome this initiative by the City of Fremantle in providing this opportunity”.
Business Foundations is a business support organisation based in Fremantle and has spent more than 25 years providing enterprise development services.
After starting as a business incubator operating out of the Fremantle Prison, they now assist more than 4000 business people a year across Australia.
Freo Now is an independent business advocacy group that also provides business coaching and training and promotes Fremantle small businesses.
To apply for the Business Capacity Building Program visit the Business Capacity Building page on the City of Fremantle website.