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30 July, 2021

Mareeba Chamber provides forum for government grant information

Mareeba businesses are being encouraged to tap into grants, mentoring and support programs available under the Federal Government’s AusIndustry program.

AusIndustry Regional Manager North Queensland Renee Chilton and Entrepreneurs’ Programme Growth Facilitator Graham Bell in Mareeba.

Guest speakers Renee Chilton, AusIndustry’s Townsville-based regional manager, and Graham Bell, a growth facilitator with the Entrepreneurs’ Programme, addressed the Mareeba Chamber of Commerce business lunch on Tuesday, outlining the services offered under the program and upcoming grant opportunities.

Mr Bell said AusIndustry provided support to rebuild and grow business, commercialise new ideas and develop and implement new innovative solutions.

“There are unique opportunities available that haven’t existed in the past,” Mr Bell said. “But you need to be brave, and willing to plan for the future which is really difficult to do.

“No-one would have predicted what would have happened in 2021, so it’s not a matter of not

planning but planning to get an idea of what you would like 2022 to be.”

Mr Bell, who is based in Cairns, is one of 135 growth facilitors engaged under the programme.

He works with clients to identify areas for improvement, conduct a financial benchmark and develop a roadmap for growth.

He said in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, business scalability was important.

“One of the key things at the moment is that business goes up and down,” Mr Bell said.

“There are opportunities, however, it’s important to understand how flexible the business is – in being able to scale up and scale back.”

Ms Chilton said AusIndustry offered support and services for a range of business needs, many of which are tied to grant programs.

This includes new grant program called the Northern Australia Development Program, details of which are yet to be released.

Ms Chilton said the program was aimed at projects that scale and diversify business and industries across northern Australia, and she encouraged businesses to prepare investment or business plans to take advantage of the grant program.

Chamber president Joe Moro urged Mareeba businesses to take advantage of the support offered by the AusIndustry program.

“Our business community continues to face enormous challenges operating in today’s economic

climate, however, there is so much help available – either online, or face-to-face,” Mr Moro said.

“The Chamber will be working to bring this information direct to our Mareeba business community by way of workshops, but we also urge individual businesses to reach out.”

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