Growing Business Confidence in Tasmania Mon 16 July 2012 Rebecca White Parliamentary Secretary for Small Business and Cost of Living Tasmanian small-to-medium sized businesses are being encouraged to take part in a program to help them thrive into the future. The Parliamentary Secretary for Small Business, Rebecca White, today visited one of the beneficiaries of the Growing Business program, Hobart-based Ronald Young and Co Builders, and encouraged others to take part. Ms White said the Growing Business program, run by the Tasmanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, in conjunction with the Department of Economic Development, Tourism and the Arts, and has so far helped 25 businesses find efficiencies and boost in their productivity. "As a Government we recognise the critical role small businesses play in helping to shape our economy, that's why we released a Small Business Strategy as part of the wider Economic Development Plan for the state," Ms White said. "The strategy addresses identified barriers for small business owners through the delivery of a number of targeted programs and services. "Through the Growing Business Program, operators can learn where their strengths and weaknesses are by taking part in an online assessment that covers their customer management, strategy and planning, marketing, finance and operations." "The program was specifically designed to assist established small to medium sized businesses across a variety of industries and regions in Tasmania. "Paul and Lisa Burnell, from Ronald Young and Co Builders, sought guidance on how to grow their business through taking part in the Growing Business program. Mr Burnell said after purchasing the building firm in February 2011, the review gave the couple increased confidence in their management and the direction of their business. "The program's consultant worked with us to mentor us and helped us develop a strategic business plan and gave us the tools needed to help us deliver our new initiatives," Mr Burnell said. "Even though the business was still performing, we needed to introduce a new operations procedure, employ new staff, profile our customers and establish a clear marketing direction. "Since completing the program, we have already seen a major difference in how the business functions and we are now more confident. "We have built more than 50 homes in just over a year, created four new full time staff positions, have plans to extend our office space and now work with up to 50 sub-contractors and suppliers." Ms White said the program will assist 50 businesses state-wide over a two year period, covering a wide variety of industries across Tasmania. "I congratulate the Tasmanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (TCCI) and the Department of Economic Development, Tourism and the Arts for running what has so far been a very successful program. "This program has been running since June 2011 and has already seen 25 business owners graduate, so it is extremely satisfying to already see a large number of successful outcomes," Ms White said. Applications are now open for the next round of the Growing Business Program, and close on 18 July 2012. For more information or to register visit http://www.tcci.com.au/growingbusiness , or contact Brendan Wilson at the TCCI on 0417 305 805.