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Berri Barmera Council becomes Small Business Friendly

Small Business Commissioner John Chapman will be in Berri today for the official signing ceremony for the Berri Barmera Council to join the Small Business Friendly Council Initiative.

Berri Barmera Council becomes the first Council in the Riverland and the twenty third Council in total to sign up to the Initiative, which is being coordinated through the Office of the Small Business Commissioner in partnership with the Local Government Association of South Australia. The Initiative aims to simplify interactions between councils and small businesses, and to recognise councils that are working to support their small business communities.

The Initiative was launched on 30th August 2017 in Whyalla, whose Council was the first to sign up. Since then, 16 regional councils and 7 metropolitan councils have signed up to the initiative and committed to the Charter Agreement which contains a number of principles, including a commitment to liaise with small businesses on a regular basis; prompt payment of accounts; commitment to local procurement wherever possible; and having a dispute resolution process if problems arise.

Mr Chapman congratulated Berri Barmera Council and said that the Initiative is particularly important for those regional small businesses who often have difficulty gaining access to essential resources needed to run their business.

“I am hopeful that regional small businesses will benefit from their Council signing up to this initiative as it will provide them with much-needed support and open the lines of communication.”

Mayor of Berri Barmera Council, Peter Hunt and Council CEO, André Stuyt were present for the signing of the Charter Agreement and said they look forward to working more closely with the small businesses in the region.

“Coming from a small business background myself, I can attest that the local businesses in this region have always embodied a true community spirit. The Initiatives set out in the Charter Agreement are in line with the services that the Council intends on implementing in order to better support our local small business community” Mayor Hunt said.

The number of Councils who have already committed to the initiative within its first year shows that a program such as this was needed. Participating Councils will work with the support of the Office of the Small Business Commissioner to meet the five required initiatives of the program, some of which are already in place in some councils.

“Some Councils are already achieving results in their existing programs. Participating in this initiative provides them with the recognition they deserve for the work they are already doing and also shows their small business community that they are in their corner” Mr Chapman said. “Small businesses are an integral part of the economic growth of our State and it’s the small things we can do to make it easier for small businesses that will essentially assist them in their journey.”

More information about the Small Business Friendly Council Initiative as well as a list of the participating Councils can be found here