Cutting red tape for local food truck operators, providing financial support through the COVID pandemic and upskilling local traders are among the successes of Ipswich City Council’s first 12 months as Queensland’s first Small Business Friendly Council.
Mayor Teresa Harding said council was committed to supporting local businesses and was proud of its achievements since signing up as the state’s first Small Business Friendly Council.
“Twelve months ago, we committed to empower our local traders by becoming Queensland’s first Small Business Friendly Council,” Mayor Harding said.
“Since then, we have worked closely with the business community and our local chambers to improve how we support, encourage and help our small businesses to grow.
“In 2020, our local businesses told us direct financial support and upskilling was a must, which is why this year we have put greater emphasis on workshops, education and networking sessions at our business hub, Fire Station 101.
“Through round one and two of the COVID-19 Recovery Small Business Funding Program, council has provided up to $2000 each successful applicant business from a pool of $275,000.
“Buy Ipswich continues to deliver significant support to Ipswich businesses, with $54 million spent with local suppliers with a head or branch office in the Ipswich in past financial year.
“In the last quarter alone, we have seen 253 small businesses participate in 22 workshops across Springfield, Rosewood and Ipswich Central.
“These workshops have taught local businesses essential business growth skills like modern marketing, financial management and how to submit winning tenders and grant submissions.
“The new Ipswich City Council has also made it easier for food truck operators to do business in our city, cutting red tape to reduce approval timeframes from four-weeks to just 48 hours.”
Deputy Mayor Councillor Nicole Jonic said council is working hard to remove barriers to doing business in Ipswich.
“Based on Local Business needs identified, council has already achieved red tape reduction for our local small businesses,” Councillor Jonic said.
“The Small Business Friendly Food Truck project aimed to not only cut back on processing application timeframes but also stimulate local business opportunities for food truck stakeholders and activate often dormant locations to encourage residents and businesses to use parks and other regions across Ipswich.
“The food trucks were a test case for red tape reduction across council and we have found this program to be hugely successful.
“The Small Business Friendly Food Truck project has turned a 6-week process into a 48-hour process, meaning our food truck owners can get their businesses up and running sooner.”
Once the booking process is further refined, local businesses will be able to book sites almost instantly.
The same process is being adopted by other areas within council to cut back on red tape and help stimulate locations and spaces around Ipswich.
Further red tape reduction programs are being considered and expected to be implemented in 2022.