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$1m boost for remote SMEs

TWO Western Australian quasi-government agencies will pocket almost $120,000 in funding under the federal government’s Enterprise Connect’s small grants round, designed for remote and regional small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The Pilbara Development Commission will receive more than $47,000 and the Yulella Aboriginal Corporation $70,000 in an initiative Innovation, Industry, Science and Research Minister, Kim Carr, said was an important boost to remote and regional Australia. “These grants are making sure remote and regional enterprises stay connected despite their geographical boundaries,” Senator Carr said. The Yulella Aboriginal Corporation is a project established as an innovation cluster of community groups and businesses in remote WA to look at opportunities to establish a carbon sequestration and carbon emissions trading industry. A Western Australian government agency with offices in Port Hedland and Karratha, the Pilbara Development Commission works as an advocacy group to coordinate and promote the economic development of the Pilbara region. Senator Carr said 16 quasi-government projects across Australia would share in almost $1.1 million in Enterprise Connect funding to assist regional and indigenous small business programs. “We are taking a commonsense approach by facilitating links between these businesses to develop new ideas, new technologies and new markets,” he said. “Each of the successful projects will investigate issues specific to regional and remote enterprises and will provide workable pathways to resolve them.” Enterprise Connect provides SMEs with access to advice, technology and research, linking firms to resources in their immediate region and around the country. More than 1,400 firms have passed through the first stage of the program, the Business Review, with over 850 completed.

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