The Hinchinbrook Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Tourism swings in to support local businesses
The Hinchinbrook Chamber has launched a number of innovative initiatives to support local businesses hit by the government’s COVID-19 regulations.
Cameron Bates, The Herbert River Express | March 31, 2020
The Hinchinbrook Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Tourism has launched a number of innovative initiatives to support local businesses and employees hit by the government’s COVID-19 regulations. The chamber last week began a series of information sessions livestreamed on Facebook featuring prominent local business leaders offering free advice and services.
In addition, the chamber has begun surveying local businesses that are still operating for promotional purposes to share data with council and relevant government agencies to influence recovery measures. An employee database is also being created to allow prospective employers to hire recently displaced workers. To date, guest speakers at information sessions have included accountants Robert Carey from Carey Group and Ross Girgenti from Coscer Financial Professionals, Occupational Therapist and business owner Kara Fien from Optimise Health & Wellness and Hinchinbrook MP Nick Dametto. Future sessions will include Mayor Ramon Jayo, Madeleine D’Urso from Donnie Harris Law and possibly an insurance broker.
Chamber president Rachael Coco said the livestreams provided professional advice and explanations surrounding the various business incentives available under the state and federal Economic Stimulus Schemes and inspiration for those looking to innovate to survive. “Key messages for business owners have included talking to their accountants, banks, business planners, financial advisors, landlords and insurance brokers and, where applicable, registering for wage subsidies,” she said. “Some incentives will be automatically applied however sole traders and business owners were encouraged to assess their personal situations and consider anticipated revenue, expenses, and whether they can innovate, collaborate, cut costs or increase efficiencies during this difficult period.”
Ms Coco said that while business operations had already been modified in most workplaces and industries, business owners were being urged to prepare for potential changes in regulations as the situation continues to evolve, practising a “hope for the best but prepare for the worst mentality”. During the livestreams it was revealed that Carey Group and Coscer Financial Professionals are offering free support, resources and information to individuals, sole traders and businesses. Carey Group has added an Accounting and Business Advice Hub to their website that features the “Resilience Series” podcasts, collated lists of support that is available and a range of practical tools. Locals can also register for a free virtual meeting to receive advice about their individual circumstances. Registration will allow Carey Group to assess circumstances prior to speaking with individuals and business owners to make the most of the time allocated in each virtual meeting.
Coscer Financial Professionals has loaded webinars to their website and will be offering a free calculator tool that allows businesses to determine how much they will be eligible to receive, taking the confusion and uncertainty out of a difficult and stressful situation. Ms Coco said that she was “incredibly grateful for the support of guest speakers and Chamber’s Management Committee” and that she was confident the community would recover with the right mind-set, innovation and collaboration. “Local businesses are resilient, and whilst the current crisis is unprecedented I have no doubt that we will band together and ultimately survive these difficult times.”