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Helping local businesses through COVID-19

Fire Station 101 is delivering free online workshops to help local businesses affected by COVID-19.

Developed by Ipswich City Council in partnership with Ipswich Chamber of Commerce & Industry and Greater Springfield Chamber Of Commerce, the COVID-19 Business Adaption Program is offering a series of webinars on the video conferencing site Zoom.

Topics include managing your cash flow, getting your business online, finding and applying for grants, and improving resilience for small business during COVID-19.

Council’s General Manager of Community, Cultural and Economic Development Department, Ben Pole, said more than 50 local businesses had been interviewed in the past fortnight to find out what they wanted from the courses.

“We’ve listened to businesses across Ipswich and developed these courses based on what business owners have told us they need right now,” Mr Pole said.

“We have also employed local business experts wherever possible to help deliver the online workshops to help businesses improvise, adapt and overcome the challenges caused by COVID-19.

“So far we have featured a local psychologist who has helped with structures and ideas to help businesses get through this period, as well as a local bookkeeper with tips on cashflow management and advice from a local grant writer on how to access available grant funding.”

Mr Pole said council’s Office of Economic Development had connected dozens of local businesses with expert advice through the COVID-19 Business Adaptation Program.

“The first two sessions have been attended by 40 businesses and feedback has been very positive,” Mr Pole said.

“We’ll continue to work with local businesses to help them through this difficult period and we’re asking for business owners to continue sharing their feedback to guide our decisions regarding workshops and assistance packages moving forward.”

Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce President Neil Coupland welcomed the program to upskill local businesses. 

“I think that anyone doing anything for businesses at this time is great as we need all the help we can get in these uncertain times and I think education is the key to assist business in moving forward,” Mr Coupland said.

Register for Firestation 101’s Free COVID-19 Business Adaptation Program via Eventbrite:

There are currently 20 courses scheduled for April, with more to be announced in the coming weeks.

You can register for as many workshops as you like and provide your feedback at Shape Your Ipswich.

You can also access the Ipswich City Council Grant Finder online. The free service allows you to view a list of all available grants for local businesses, community groups, not-for-profits and individuals.

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