BEC to receive $42m in federal funding

16/05/2008 - 11:13

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The Federal Government will provide BEC Australia with $42 million over four years to fund one-stop small business advisory centres across Australia.

BEC to receive $42m in federal funding

The Federal Government will provide BEC Australia with $42 million over four years to fund one-stop small business advisory centres across Australia.

The funding will support 36 Business Enterprise Centres in suburban, rural and regional Australia.

In announcing the funding, Small Business Minister Craig Emerson said the funding will enable Business Enterprise Centres to strengthen and expand their capacity to help small business debutantes and those already in operation.

"This new $42 million small business program is part of the Government's overall small business strategy that includes cutting red tape in 27 areas of business regulation, amending the law to prevent powerful businesses from misusing their market power against small businesses, tax relief for small business owners, easing skill shortages and a national high-speed broadband network".

The funding decision meets Labor's election commitment to support more than 30 advisory centres around Australia.BEC Australia Chair, Peter Murray, welcomed the funding announcement, and said it will enable BECs to build on their existing services and provide greater advice and assistance to small business owners and intenders.
"BEC Australia is an apolitical organisation which supports the network of community based BECs and we welcome funding from all sources. This announcement is a win for small business, we welcome it and congratulate the ALP on this policy initiative."

BECs will provide support to small businesses in a range of areas, including:
Mentoring for New Business: BEC staff or consultants will provide advisory service meetings and networking opportunities for new small businesses.
Planning: BEC staff or consultants will provide a diagnostic assessment of individual small businesses, followed by better business planning advice. The BEC will assist small businesses with networking opportunities, writing better business plans, assessing and improving supply-chain management, e-commerce take-up, information technology and broadband, succession planning and creating security for the business over leased premises or intellectual property.
Loans and banking products: BEC staff or consultants will provide independent information and guidance on available banking and finance products for small and micro-businesses.
Marketing: BEC staff or consultants will prepare simple marketing plans for small businesses on promotional opportunities and advertising options in their local area.
Legal and accounting services: BECs will dedicate at least 20 per cent of the recurrent funding for new small businesses to access legal and accounting advice and for established home-based/micro businesses to obtain advice on issues such as Retail Tenancy, Intellectual Property, Credit Management......
Leasing guidance: The BEC will provide information and guidance on leasing terms and conditions during negotiations with prospective landlords.
Government regulation: The BEC will provide advice to businesses on regulatory compliance at all tiers of government.
Staff training programs: When significant new regulations start, the BEC will develop and deliver training programs for small businesses.
Women: Women are an increasingly important part of Australia's enterprise culture and the BEC will ensure it programs cater for the needs of this client group.
National Referrals: Where a BEC client is looking to conduct business interstate or intrastate the BEC will refer the client to the most appropriate BEC for assistance. Where appropriate the BEC will refer clients for industry specific assistance to another BEC who has specific expertise in that industry.
"BEC Australia supports BECs in their delivery of services to the small and micro businesses of Australia," Mr Murray said.

"Through BEC Australia, each BEC has access to the talents and resources of all BECs in the BEC Australia network plus strategic partner resources to provide quality business assistance. These vital partnerships provide BEC clients access to a wealth of professional services and knowledge not easily available elsewhere."

 

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