Ipswich City Council has teamed up with the region’s peak business bodies to help support local businesses navigate the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Council’s new partnership agreements with the Greater Springfield and Ipswich Region chambers of commerce will help deliver more events, programs and education for small businesses.
At the signing of the agreements, Mayor Teresa Harding said that developing strong partnerships with the chambers was a priority for council, recognising the strategic importance of collaborating for the benefit of local businesses.
“Council is very committed to supporting the Ipswich business community, especially through these challenging and changing times,” she said.
“We have partnered with the chambers because we genuinely value the work they do to support local businesses
“Even in these tougher times, a range of new opportunities are emerging for businesses and we’re jointly focused on investment attraction and supporting businesses with accessing these opportunities
“Our recently adopted Buy Ipswich procurement policy will ensure Council spends more locally and I’m delighted to announce that Ipswich City Council is set to become Queensland’s first Business Friendly Council.”
Economic and Industry Development Committee chairperson Councillor Nicole Jonic said the partnerships would give local businesses access to more opportunities to help them recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It’s tough owning a small business in the current climate,” Cr Jonic said.
“Through these partnerships, council is actively working together with local experts and the business community to support our business owners.
“Local businesses can expect to see more programs and events with the partnerships in place, as council works alongside the chambers to strengthen our local economy.”
Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce president Neil Coupland said the partnership was “tremendous” for the local business community.
“It’s a shot in the arm for our local businesses,” he said.
“They can look at this and see that the local council has their back at a time when they need it most.
“Most of us have never been through a situation like COVID-19 before, which in itself creates its own unique set of challenges for our business community.
“This partnership will enable us to help local businesses to gain the knowledge and tools they need to move forward in the wake of the pandemic.”
Ipswich Chamber of Commerce and Industry chief executive officer Phillip Bell said the partnership represents a giant leap forward for the business community.
“We’ve eagerly awaited this partnership with council which represents its commitment to working collaboratively alongside the business community,” Mr Bell said.
“It means, for the first time in several years, the chamber’s and council’s efforts to support the local business community are aligned.
“This will ensure more meaningful and effective support across the board at a time when our community needs it most.”
He said the business community had already benefitted from the partnership.
“The chamber and council worked together to produce COVID-safe signing and a range of digital templates to enable businesses to navigate through COVID-19 restrictions,” Mr Bell said.
“That was the first of a number of collaborative projects, programs and events for the chamber and council, which will also include the Business Excellence Awards later this year.”