Two new small business financial counsellors have hit the ground running in western Queensland to support local businesses through drought and COVID-19.
Paul and Paula Misipeka have just returned from an introductory trip through the Channel Country meeting with community leaders and small businesses.
“This was our first trip out west and it exceeded any ideas that we had about the outback. This area has such incredible natural beauty,” Paula Misipeka said.
They visited Winton, Boulia, Bedourie, Birdsville, Windorah and Jundah over the past week to raise awareness about the service and connect with local businesses.
“A majority of the small businesses that have remained open have experienced a significant drop in sales, with some acknowledging an 80-90% drop from this time last year. The impact of COVID 19 with its associated cancellations of travel and events has meant tourists are not travelling through small towns and not spending money within small communities,” she said.
The pair will now turn their attention to delivering a free series of zoom webinars the Restart SMART program through OutbackHubs.
This program will be delivered over three weeks (26th May, 2nd June and 9th June at 5:30pm) and has been designed to help small business owners take stock of their current situation, ensure they are utilising government funding and design a plan for recovery.
“The series will give business owners an opportunity to take a helicopter view of their business environment. It will provide insight and understanding into responding to a quickly changing economic landscape. The government has commenced a 3-step plan to re-open our economy, but no one knows exactly what business as usual will look like. This series hopes to increase preparedness and stimulate new ideas toward their own recovery,” Paul Misipeka said.
Small business counsellors can help small businesses get a deep understanding of their financial position, help develop budgets and cash flows, negotiate with creditors as well as assist access government and community grants and schemes.
Paul and Paula are taking bookings for appointments now to secure a place with Paula call 0422 875 551 or to talk to Paul call 0476 815 581.