Mayor says business hub to be ‘ground zero’ for city’s economic revival

The COVID-battered small business sector has been given a helping hand with the launch of a new centre to help guide Brisbane’s 180,000 small businesses out of the pandemic recession.

Oct 20, 2020, updated Oct 20, 2020
Brisbane City Council Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner. (Photo: AAP Image/Albert Perez)

Brisbane City Council Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner. (Photo: AAP Image/Albert Perez)

The Brisbane Economic Development Agency, previously known as Brisbane Marketing, has created the Brisbane Business Hub to offer courses, workshops and support for established firms and start-ups for the recovery phase of the pandemic.

BEDA is owned by Brisbane City Council and Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner said the hub which has $1.2 million in funding,would act like a matchmaker, bringing together people who need advice and help with those who can provide it.

“This hub will be the ground zero for the recovery effort,” Schrinner said.

“Stage one was just survival. We are now in the rebuilding phase and we want to be in the thriving stage.”

He said apart from financial support, businesses had told council what they wanted most was advice and support.

The service will be offered free to Brisbane business.

Supporting the new venture will be law firm Gadens, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland, QUT, Westpac, Shopify, the Australian Taxation Office, Youngcare and the council.

Former Test wicketkeeper and a director of Hoppy’s Car Wash and the Greg Chappell Cricket Centre Ian Healy said it was vital that the sector get advice.

“There are so many facets of a business that can go wrong. As recently as yesterday I was getting advice.”

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“Small business is the backbone of our economy and this space will give residents a unique opportunity to network with experienced business figures who are willing to help our business community to get back on their feet and in a strong position to survive and thrive in this economic climate,” Schrinner said.

A series of workshops and webinars will begin later this month and the council has promised the hub’s meeting space in the city would be affordable, accessible and flexible for people to do business.

The council’s finance, small business and administration chair, Councillor Adam Allan, said a virtual space would also be available along with online advice.

He said it was clear that many businesses wanted support through ongoing skills development, networking and mentoring opportunities.

“Whether you’re a novice or a professional, the hub will provide guidance and support from local experts, covering a number of current business challenges, ranging from managing money and cashflow through to sourcing new customers, business strategy and legal advice,” Allan said.

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