• 15/03/2020 8:08 PM | Anonymous

    The government’s Coronavirus response includes three business-specific measures that will enable businesses to support the economy and retain employees in the months ahead:

    - A tax-free cashflow boost of between $2,000 and $25,000 for businesses with a turnover of less than $50 million, to help pay wages, hire extra staff, or for investment.

    - Funding of up to $21,000 per apprentice or trainee, to help small businesses keep their employees in work, and

    - Raising the threshold for instant asset write offs from $30,000 to $150,000 and expanded to businesses with an annual turnover of up to $500 million, increased from $50 million.

    This response should help sustain economic activity through our region in response to COVID-19 and frankly against the compounding effects of the aftermath of the bushfire season.

    Importantly, the social security measures announced will see cash being flushed into the economy in the form of one-off $750 payments, which will be particularly welcomed in the retail sector.

    The Commonwealth and NSW governments have announced a new small business support grant of $10,000, to cover small business loss of income. Small businesses who have received assistance under other grants or initiatives may also be eligible for this grant.

    The grant will be available to small businesses that:

    - Have experienced a significant decline in revenue due to the recent bushfires

    - Are located in  bushfire-impacted local government areas (LGAs) which includes Wingecarribee Shire.

    Links to grants and loans below:

    For information on the National Bushfire Recovery follow this link:

  • 15/03/2020 8:07 PM | Anonymous

    Thank you for your assistance with the BizRebuild efforts so far and for being a voice in your community to help it bounce back following the devastating bushfires. As you know, the direct and indirect impacts on business following the bushfires has reached a large number of the business community in your region.

    We are running a number of initiatives to help alleviate this pressure but a smaller initiative we are offering is a platform for businesses in your community to showcase and promote their business on our soon to be launched BizRebuild website and social media platforms.

    All we need is the following:

    - Full name:

    - Business:

    - Email:

    - High resolution [landscape or square] photo of shopfront/products/services promoting your business

    - Link to website or social media platform:

    Details can be sent to

    We are aware there are some great initiatives out there already including Empty Esky, #SpendWithThem and #BushFromTheBush. This will just provide an additional platform and opportunity for businesses to get their name out there and reach consumers from around different parts of Australia.

    We would be grateful if you could please share this among your business networks and encourage them to take part.

  • 07/03/2020 12:27 PM | Anonymous

    Business Connect is a dedicated and personalised NSW Government program that provides trusted advice to help you start of grow your small business.

    The Business Fundamentals Masterclass Series covers the key elements of successful business growth, providing you with an opportunity to have a bird’s eye perspective of your business. Over 3 sessions experienced business advisors will guide you through the key components of any business and help you develop business direction and growth. Book follow-up meetings with your local business advisor and extend your learnings to identify and target the key areas you need to develop in your business to improve its’ performance.

    At the completion of the program you will have:

    • Key strategic and operational objectives for your business over the next 12 months

    • An understanding of the importance of market research and an outline of a Marketing Plan for your business

    • An understanding of business financials, how to monitor and manage them and a simple cashflow forecast template

    • A relationship with and on-going support from, your local business advisors

    • An SRBEC Certificate of Completion - Business Fundamentals Masterclass

    Business Foundations: 9.00am – 12.30pm on Tuesday 10 March 2020

    Create an Effective Marketing Plan: 9.00am – 12.30pm on Tuesday 24 March 2020 

    Understanding Your Financial Health: 9.00am – 12.30pm on Tuesday 07 April 2020

    The masterclasses will be held at Henrietta Rose Room (rear Old Town Hall), 16-24 Bendooley Street, BOWRAL, NSW 2576 

    Valued at over $900, this Masterclass Series is fully subsidised through BusinessConnect for NSW Businesses in bushfire affected regions and is free to attend. Due to limited places, REGISTRATIONS ARE ESSENTIAL, so book now!

    To register please visit each workshop below: 

    200407 Flyer Understanding Your Financial Health Bowral.pdf

    200324 Flyer Create an Effective Marketing Plan Bowral.pdf

    200310 Flyer Business Foundations Bowral.pdf

    200310 Flyer ALL Business Fundamentals Masterclass Series Bowral.pdf

  • 25/02/2020 10:51 AM | Anonymous

    Green Shoots sprout: Optus opens grants program to support bushfire affected small businesses get back on their feet

    Optus has opened applications for its Green Shoots grants program in an effort to help restore connectivity for small businesses affected by recent bushfires across Australia.

    Optus Chief Executive Allen Lew said the grants program supports small businesses with a boost so they can rebuild and commence planning for their future.

    “Optus recognises the immense scale of the recent bushfires and the many hurdles for the communities affected by the disaster.”

    “With the Green Shoots grants we are committed to working alongside small businesses hardest hit and helping them on the road to recovery.”

    “Regional Australia boasts unique opportunities for businesses, and it is critical that these are harnessed to drive the success of our national economy.”

    Mr Lew said throughout the bushfires Optus had worked tirelessly to maintain and restore services, working collaboratively with local governments and agencies, and supplementing services with satellite and mobile small cells where sites were damaged by fires.

    The Green Shoots program will be available during 2020 for businesses in Optus serviceable areas and will comprise up to 2,000 grants including:

    • $100 per month recurring credit for 24 months on an Optus Small Business account

    • A tablet or equivalent (memory/colour/size specifications at Optus’ discretion)

    • Optus to extend its staff volunteer programme to enable its staff to support small businesses affected by the bushfires to get back on their feet

     Details regarding eligibility, selection criteria as well as how to apply for the grant can be found at

    CEO Designate Kelly Bayer Rosmarin said Optus is committed to bolstering a much-needed sense of hope in affected parts of Australia by supporting small businesses.

    “We understand that rebuilding communities will be a long and daunting process, which is why we are acting now to do what we can to support these small businesses in getting back online and reconnecting with their communities.”

    “We encourage small businesses affected by the bushfires to apply for the program so together we can ensure these businesses thrive again and safeguard local jobs.”

    Optus is asking small businesses affected by the bushfires to contact Optus via

    The grants program is now open for applications and closes on 31 March 2020 (unless otherwise extended).

  • 22/01/2020 7:43 PM | Anonymous

    The NSW Government is hosting a series of free workshops on industrial relations compliance in Bowral. 

    Making NSW Workplaces Fair For All - Managing Compliance will be held Tuesday 17 March, from 9:30am - 12:00pm, at Bowral Links House Hotel. 

    This workshop helps employers better understand their responsibilities and the rights of their employees. Some of the topics covered include leave entitlements, flexibility arrangements and other workplace conditions including obligations relating to leave entitlements and workplace arrangements.


    Long Service Leave Made Easy will be held Tuesday 17 March, from 1:00pm - 3:30pm, at Bowral Links House Hotel.

    This presentation will assist employers to understand pro rata long service leave and how it is paid. Questions to consider are: do casual employees accrue long service leave, and how is long service taken?


  • 06/01/2020 9:51 AM | Anonymous

    Why do I need a marketing plan?

    A marketing plan helps you promote products and services in your business that meet the needs of your target market. It requires research, time and commitment, but is a very valuable process that can greatly contribute to your business success.

    Writing and researching for your marketing plan gives you the chance to:

    1. Identify your target market and understand how your product or service meets their needs.
    2. Identify your competitors and what your target customers think about your competitors' strengths and weaknesses.
    3. Position your brand, products and services so that your target market sees your business as better than, or different from, the competition.
    4. Set specific, measurable goals and time frames for your marketing activities.
    5. Map out a strategy to reach your target audience, including the messages, channels and tools you will use.

    The NSW Government's Business Department has a great online marketing plan template and guide to give you a clear process to follow as you develop your marketing plan. It helps you identify who your customers are, how you'll meet their needs and how you'll differentiate yourself from the competition.

    Access the guide here:

  • 06/01/2020 9:33 AM | Anonymous

    Whether you are just starting out with a great business idea, or looking to expand and grow your business, the NSW Government provides business services that can help.

    Business Connect is a dedicated and personalised NSW Government program that provides trusted advice to help you start or grow your small business. You can choose a business advisor and access informative workshops to set your business up for success. This is free one-on-one advice. 

    Learn more about Business Connect here:

    There is also an informative online guide that takes you through the steps on how to start a business, from registering your business, to preparing for tax, knowing the law, and setting up operations. 

    Access the guide here:

    If you're looking to grow your existing small business, you can also access Business Connect's free advice. You can also get a free 'Health Check' for your business, which in just five minutes identifies your business strengths and weaknesses in key areas: people, customers, financials and business strategy. This can help you identify those parts of your business that can be improved and provide planning tools to make it happen.

    Get a free Business Health check here:

  • 06/01/2020 9:26 AM | Anonymous

    A big thank you to the RFS, its volunteers, and emergency service crews for their ongoing commitment and dedication during this devastating fire season. The Chamber will be in discussion with local RFS management to see how we can offer support coming into the New Year.

    Disaster recovery grants of up to $15 000 are now available to primary producers, small businesses and not-for-profit organisations in LGAs affected by the NSW bushfires that have occured from 31 August 2019.

    To find out more and to see if you are eligible please visit:

  • 30/12/2019 12:52 PM | Anonymous

    You want to start 2020 off on the right foot for your business. The best way to do this is develop concrete plans to direct your business activities. We've compiled a list of tips you can use to help your business succeed in the New Year. 

    1. Invest in professional growth. 

    For your business to grow, you need to invest in the professional growth of your team. Providing training enables employees to stay current on key business issues such as technologies, laws, product and marketing trends. Set aside part of your budget to invest in knowledge - it will be worth it in the long run. Affordable options for small businesses include group sessions, or mentoring and workshops run by better trained employees. 

    2. Gather data.

    Keeping track of and analyzing your data is essential in business. It can be used to improve in areas from finance, to marketing. Ensure that the data gathered is correct and will be managed efficiently. Otherwise, it will be useless or even hamper the decision making of your business. They are many online platforms that can store and analyse your data for you - it's just about finding the right one for your business and industry.

    3. Set measurable goals. 

    Vague goals are not effective because you can not work out whether you've achieved them or not. To have new achievements this year, your goals must be: specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound. With these elements in hand, it is possible to create really efficient strategies to make them come true. Breaking down goals into action and shorter deadlines also helps guide yourself and your employees. It is easier to focus on smaller tasks, leading up to ambitious goals. 

    Happy New Year!

  • 17/11/2019 1:58 PM | Anonymous

    Wingecarribee Shire Council and the Southern Highlands Chamber of Commerce and Industry are set to light up the Shire’s largest Christmas tree on Friday 6 December in Bowral’s Corbett Plaza.

    Corbett Plaza will be a hive of activity with face painting, plaster decorating and a crazy hair station kicking off festivities from 6pm. 

    “This event has been steadily growing in popularity in recent years bringing families from across the Shire into the heart of Bowral for a wonderful community celebration,” said Wingecarribee Shire Mayor Councillor Duncan Gair. 

    “Those who’ve visited in previous years may notice that the tree has been upgraded,” he said. “We’ve secured a larger tree that previously stood in Sydney’s Hyde Park.”

    “It’ll make sure the reindeer can spot the Southern Highlands from high above on Christmas Eve regardless of the weather.”

    Helping to spread the festive cheer will be singers from the Wingecarribee Vocal Muster performing Christmas carols and members from the Bowral Lions Club will be serving a free sausage sizzle.

    “There’s even a rumor that the jolly man himself will be making a very special guest appearance,” the Mayor added.

    The official lighting of the community Christmas tree will take place at 7pm on Friday 6 December in Corbett Plaza, Bowral.

    The event and all activities are free of charge.

    For more information visit or phone Council on 4868 0888.



CALL: 02 4861 6917

WRITE: PO BOX 799 Bowral NSW 2576

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