Chamber Micro Grants Funding
A broad range of Hinchinbrook businesses and not-for-profits will reap the rewards of ecommerce and inject thousands of dollars into the local economy with the support of grant funding from the Hinchinbrook Chamber of Commerce, Industry & Tourism.
Eight successful grant recipients representing retail, hospitality, service providers, events and even a school tuckshop will use grants valued at $756.25 each to purchase equipment and engage services to implement ecommerce solutions or improve existing online platforms.
Chamber President Rachael Coco was impressed with the “diversity of innovative and unique applications” submitted under the ecommerce microgrant program, proving that local businesses and organisations were embracing technology to compete in an ever-changing world.
“It’s really pleasing to see businesses leveraging technology to improve their operations, reach a broader audience and expand their offerings – chamber takes great pride in supporting these types of activities” said Ms Coco.
“Just because we’re a small, regional area doesn’t mean our businesses don’t have the ability to compete on a world stage and I am confident that more and more local businesses will become market leaders who set the benchmarks for others to aspire to” she said.
Neale Brown from Significant Signs secured a grant to build a website and online store that will enable his business to sell branded stickers to customers all over the world, a move that Mr Brown said will be “a positive for our business well into the future”.
“This is something that we were looking at doing for a long time, and when this opportunity came along it gave us the chance to move forward with it” he said.
Owner of Ilove Boutique, Lindsay Blues, will use her grant to purchase professional photography equipment to improve her existing online store and enhance her social media marketing activities.
“It will give my website more of a clean, professional look … focusing on the outfit and not everything in the background” said Ms Blues.
The Ingham Sugar City Rodeo (ISCR) committee is “really excited” to be receiving funding that will be used to develop a new website with an online store that allows attendees to “find all of our information in one place”.
ISCR Treasurer, Monique Giliberto, said that customers often send Facebook messages to ask questions or purchase items, so the online store “will make selling our merchandise a lot easier”
Acclaimed indigenous artist, Joanne Cassady, will invest her grant money into an online store for Balgarra Designs and professional photography services for SPARXS online store, which markets the artworks of several First Nations artists.
“Receiving financial support such as this will enable my business to move forward and is a great opportunity for myself and other businesses that I use” said Mrs Cassady.
Grant funds will also go towards the implementation of an online ordering system at Wild Local Prawns, with a clever plug-in feature that enables automatic print-outs for the kitchen staff, an online furniture and homewares store at Felix Reitano Furniture & Real Estate and a tech-savvy tuckshop at Ingham State School that will accept online orders and payments.