• 15/07/2020 6:05 PM | Anonymous


    Australians are being urged to buy from small businesses in their local communities in a nationwide campaign launched today in Canberra by the Minister for Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business, Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash.

    The “GO LOCAL FIRST” campaign, an initiative funded by the Morrison Government and coordinated by the Council of Small Business Organisations Australia (COSBOA), will highlight the vital role of small businesses in our nation’s economic recovery and in keeping communities thriving.

    The campaign will encourage Australians to choose local small businesses when they are purchasing products and services to help get the sector back on its feet.

    “Australia’s 3.5 million small businesses are the heartbeat of their local communities. When they thrive, communities thrive and the national economy prospers,” said Minister Cash.

    “Throughout this pandemic, these businesses have done it tough and while some sadly won’t reopen, others have adapted to serve customers and to keep staff employed.

    “Australian small businesses need local communities to back them now, by ‘going local first’ when they need to buy a product or service,” Minister Cash said.

    Research commissioned by COSBOA and conducted by the C|T Group shows Australians are spending more at local businesses since the COVID-19 lockdowns began earlier this year, but temporary and permanent closures are preventing them from doing more to support them.

    The research finds Australians see broad economic improvements as the most important issues for the country, after managing the spread of the coronavirus.

    COSBOA Chief Executive Officer, Peter Strong said “small businesses account for just over one-third of Australia’s GDP and an economic recovery will not be possible without small businesses trading and hiring people.

    “We want to see Australians out supporting their local grocers, butchers, accounting and legal firms, gardeners, tradespeople, and goods producers like wineries and farmers.

    “When you shop locally, your money stays in your community, meaning local small businesses will still be there as we emerge from the COVID-19 crisis,”

    Mr Strong said. The Go Local First campaign will be supported by ambassadors committed to supporting Australia’s small businesses. The nbn and the Pharmacy Guild of Australia have signed on as inaugural ambassadors.

    George Tambassis, National President of the Pharmacy Guild of Australia commented “the community pharmacy sector is unique in that it’s composed almost entirely of small businesses because most pharmacies are owned and operated by locals.

    “That means we truly understand small business are the heartbeat of their communities.

    “But right now, they’re doing it tough, so we should be supporting them now more than ever, or we risk losing them.

    “I would encourage everyone to back this campaign and GO LOCAL FIRST next time you need to buy something or need some advice,” Mr Tambassis said.

    Brad Whitcomb, nbn Chief Customer Officer said:

    “Australians have responded in extraordinary ways to COVID-19 social distancing measures, including as people have relied on the nbn to keep them connected to work, study, entertainment, family, friends and shopping.

    “Our recent nbn Behavioural Change Survey highlighted a groundswell of support from consumers wanting to support local businesses online. The research highlights an opportunity for local businesses to strengthen their online presence and to make it make it easier for consumers to find their products and services.

    “Going Local First can mean more than a stroll to the local greengrocer; it also means looking for local small businesses online and thinking about buying from them first.”

    The GO LOCAL FIRST campaign will be rolled out on outdoor, radio, and digital advertising over the next six months with a call to action to consumers to spend locally first.

    For more information on the campaign or to be part of it, go to

  • 15/07/2020 6:00 PM | Anonymous

    The SHCCI Board urges all members to review and comment on this plan which will lead the way into the future of economics in the Southern Highlands.

    Southern Highlands Destination Plan

    Council is seeking feedback on a draft ‘Southern Highlands Destination Plan 2020‐ 2030’.

    It is common practice for local government areas to have separate strategies for tourism and economic development. Council includes tourism with other industry sectors in a whole of destination approach positioning the Southern Highlands as an attractive investment destination; a place to live, work, learn, play and visit.

    Documents can be viewed online here.

    Share your thoughts via the online submission form, email to or post to Wingecarribee Shire Council, PO Box 141 Moss Vale NSW 2577.

    Submissions close 4.30pm, Sunday 30 August 2020. 

  • 15/07/2020 5:50 PM | Anonymous

    Wingecarribee Shire Mayor Duncan Gair is encouraging Highland residents to stay COVID-Safe in the wake of the recent surge in COVID-19 cases reported in Victoria and Sydney. 

    “Now is not the time for complacency,” he said. 

    “The spike in cases reported in south-western Sydney and now a confirmed case in the Highlands is of particular concern.” 

    Mayor Gair said it was the responsibility of everyone to continue to do the right thing and help protect themselves and the wider community and limit the spread of the virus. 

    “This includes maintaining proper physical distancing, practicing good hygiene and getting tested and self-isolating if you’re feeling unwell.” 

    The Mayor said the message was particularly important following the recent easing of social restrictions. 

    “Over the past few weekends our towns and villages have reported large numbers of people visiting as they emerge from weeks of confinement,” he said. 

    “While it’s understandable that people want to venture out of their homes we have to all continue to observe COVID-Safe practices,” he added. “Otherwise we may all be forced to return to the tougher restrictions from just weeks ago.” 

    The warning comes as the Moss Vale Showground prepares to host another Pop-Up Testing Clinic this weekend. 

    “I urge anyone who has any symptoms, no matter how slight, to get tested at either the temporary Moss Vale clinic or the permanent facilities in Bowral or Mittagong,” Mayor Gair said. 

    Symptoms of COVID-19 include a fever, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, muscle and joint pain and loss of smell or taste. 

    “I would also encourage any residents who haven’t downloaded the COVIDSafe app to do so as soon as possible. 

    “If we all do the right thing and continue to observe COIVID-Safe practices we’ll be able to continue to enjoy a catch-up with mates, our weekend sport or a hug from the grandchildren.” 

    The Moss Vale Pop-Up Clinic will operate from 10am to 4pm at the Moss Vale Showground between Friday 17 July and Sunday 19 July. No appointments are necessary. 

    The Mittagong Respiratory Clinic is located at 58 Bowral Road in Mittagong. Hours of operation are 9am to 5pm seven days a week. The Bowral Hospital Flu Assessment Clinic operates seven days a week out of the hospital’s Outpatients Department located on Ascot Street in Bowral. Hours of operation are 10am to 6pm weekdays and 10am to 3pm on weekends. 

    Patients must contact both the Bowral and Mittagong facilities prior to any appointment. 

    For more information on the Federal Government’s COVIDSafe app including full privacy details visit

    For the latest COVID-19 updates, advice, testing locations and restrictions, visit

  • 07/07/2020 8:54 AM | Anonymous

    With the 2020 IMB Bank Illawarra Business Awards now open, local businesses in the Southern Highlands are being encouraged to have their resilience and excellence celebrated by submitting an entry. 

    In light of the significant challenges faced by our community this year, the 2020 Illawarra Business Awards program will be a very special celebration of the resilience, persistence and excellence of our region’s businesses and business leaders. 

    Local chamber presidents from the Southern Highlands Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Steve Horton, and the Moss Vale and Rural Chamber of Commerce, Brigid Kennedy, are encouraging their members to enter 2020 awards, so that the experience, challenges, adaptation and survival of Southern Highlands businesses can be celebrated and acknowledged. 

    Steve Horton said: “Now is the time for business across the Southern Highlands to share their experiences and get the recognition they deserve for the remarkable resilience they have shown in a very challenging year, as a result of devastating bushfires and the current pandemic.” 

    Brigid Kennedy said: “I want to strongly encourage our outstanding local business community to get involved in these awards, as it is so important that we celebrate the inspirational people who have worked tirelessly to ensure the survival and success of our business community,” said Ms Kennedy. 

    Executive Director of the Illawarra Business Chamber Adam Zarth said: “We look forward to welcoming businesses from the Southern Highlands into our awards program this year, which will be made easier now that we have made the judging process entirely virtual.” 

    “The IMB Bank Illawarra Business Awards are the region’s largest and most prestigious business awards and given the challenges posed by the COVID-19 lockdown this year, it was more important than ever that we celebrate the resilience, strength and adaptability of our business community,” said Mr Zarth. 

    “We are working to arrange another outstanding gala awards night event, with this year’s theme, ‘An Evening Under the Stars’, symbolising the businesses who, despite challenging conditions, are shining brighter than ever.” 

    There are 11 categories open for entry that will recognise the achievements of business across a wide range of areas including innovation and adaptability, workplace culture, sustainability, customer service, import and export, digital service delivery and resilience, as well as the inspirational employees and business leaders in the community. 

    The 2020 IMB Bank Illawarra Business Awards black-tie gala ceremony will be held on Friday, 16 October at the WIN Entertainment Centre in Wollongong, and finalists will be announced on Wednesday, 26 August 2020. 

    To enter, visit, or call the Illawarra Business Chamber on (02) 4223 0319. 

    Media Contacts: Steve Horton (0428 612 183) Brigid Kennedy (0411 511 244) 

    Key Program Dates 

    Entries Open 9.00am, 17 June 2020 

    Entry Deadline 5.00pm, 21 July 2020 

    Finalists Announced 26 August 2020 

    Black-tie Gala Ceremony 16 October 2020 

    2020 Categories 

    1. Excellence in Innovation & Adaptability 

    2. Excellence in Workplace Culture 

    3. Excellence in Sustainability 

    4. Excellence in Customer Service 

    5. Excellence in Import & Export 

    6. Excellence in Digital Service Delivery 

    7. Resilience in Micro Business 

    8. Resilience in Small Business 

    9. Resilience in Business 

    10. 2020 Inspiring Employee 

    11. 2020 Inspiring Business Leader 

    12. 2020 IMB Bank Business of the Year 

    Check out the entry handbook here.

  • 03/05/2020 3:12 PM | Anonymous

    Following recent support from the NSW Government via their Bushfire Recovery ‘Community Resilience & Economic Stimulation Grant’ Program, Wingecarribee Shire Council & Destination Southern Highlands (DSH) has developed a continuation of the Share The Love campaign to promote and assist the region from the remaining impact of the Bushfires as well as the current dramatic effects of COVID-19. The initiatives proposed in this prospectus take in the immediate needs right up to when the region is re-opened to visitors.

    The strategy of this campaign is to:

    • Initiate immediate sales opportunities for struggling tourism operators and retail businesses that are still operational. In particular those who have had revenue affected by the fires and now the effects of COVID-19. These can be businesses that have closed or are open but operating in a restricted capacity.

    • Initiate sales at a later date for Accommodation, Events and Activities that are currently closed due to COVID-19 trading restrictions.

    • Promote the Southern Highlands as a desirable destination, with an array of quality operators and producers in a long term co-ordinated way spread over three (3) stages.

    View the entire communications strategy and how you can get involved here. 
  • 03/05/2020 3:03 PM | Anonymous

    This is a hard time for everyone, but businesses are being particularly hurt by the impacts of coronavirus (COVID-19). It’s important that you and your employees get the right emotional support.

    Please contact Alison Tye, the Coordinator from Rural Adversity Mental Health Program (RAMHP) for assistance on mental health issues. Alison is available to visit businesses and homes, or alternatively can be contacted by phone or email.

    Phone: 4421 5595

    Mobile: 0436 826 672



  • 03/05/2020 2:56 PM | Anonymous

    In this week’s episode of Business Response we are joined by Courtney West, a partner at KPMG in Wollongong who specialises in taxation, compliance and business advisory services. Sponsored by Wollongong City Council and produced by Relativity, this webinar series arms businesses with the tools they need to adapt and survive in the current climate. 

    Managing cash flow has been a critical issue facing businesses of all sizes since lockdown. In episode four, Courtney guides us through the three key scenarios Illawarra business find themselves in currently, and what a sensible cashflow management strategy looks like for each, including:

    • The importance of cash flow in the current climate
    • Practical tips for cash flow planning
    • What your business can be doing right now and into the future

    Watch Episode 4 - Managing Your Cashflow here.

    Watch the full series of Business Response here.

  • 03/05/2020 2:51 PM | Anonymous

    The University of Wollongong (UOW) will offer more than 20 short courses to help workers displaced by the COVID-19 pandemic boost their skills and embark on a new career path. 

    The 23 short courses encompass areas of national priority, including education, nursing, health, IT, and science, and will be subsidised as part of the Federal Government’s Higher Education Relief Package, running from July 2020 to December 2020.

    Workers who have lost their job or had their employment reduced on the back of the unprecedented COVID-19 crisis will be able to use the next six months to learn a set of skills or retrain. Those who complete these semester-long online courses, comprising four subjects, will receive a Higher Education Certificate. While this is not a formal qualification in and of itself, it will provide a pathway towards an undergraduate or postgraduate degree.
    A full list of short courses on offer is available here.

  • 03/05/2020 2:47 PM | Anonymous

    As a business owner, we know it's in your best interest to download the COVIDSafe app and help get the community back to business as usual, sooner rather than later. 

    Since the launch earlier this week, over 2.8 million Australians have downloaded the COVIDSafe app. By downloading the app you will be helping keep your family and your community safe from further spread of coronavirus through early notification of possible exposure.

    COVIDSafe is one of the tools the government have designed to help protect the health of our community by quickly alerting people who may be at risk of having contact with the virus.

    Downloading the #COVIDSafe app is something you can do to protect your family and help fast-track the reopening of businesses that have been forced to close. Let's get back to business.

    If you’re thinking about encouraging your employees to download COVIDSafe you know this conversation could be difficult at first so, here are some guidelines on how you could frame the conversation.

  • 03/05/2020 2:41 PM | Anonymous

    How do you maintain a team culture when you can't be in the same room as one another?

    With the coronavirus outbreak making everyday norms disappear, the risk of anxiety and stress seeping into your workforce is very real. But there are some guidelines you can follow to make sure your employees feel engaged, included and important.


    Whether your business has had to pause operation or your employees are able to work from home, staying in touch with your team is crucial to their – and your – mental wellbeing.

    You could schedule regular catch-ups, for example. A mix of all-team calls and one-to-one chats can give you ample opportunity to let your employees feel connected and heard. However, be mindful not to overload people with meetings where there’s nothing much to talk about.

    Try to be even more empathetic than usual. With so much information about the coronavirus outbreak in the media, many people may choose to avoid news and social media to maintain their mental balance. Be selective about what you reference ­– it can help show your team that what you say is authentic and trustworthy.

    Be as honest as you can about how your organisation is being affected. Uncertainty about the future will be fuelling your employees’ stress levels, so involve them more than you normally would in those conversations.


    Many of your employees’ roles likely have changed since the start of the coronavirus outbreak. Whether you have asked them to solve different problems or customers are coming to them with new needs, it’s important to help them recognise the job they are doing is valid. In quieter moments, they could consider sharing their experiences for others to learn from – and you can identify new development opportunities in your team.


    Give your team the opportunity to feel like they are making progress by learning new skills. With so many finding themselves with less or no work, now could be a good time to encourage training and development. It would show you’re thinking beyond the current crisis and that your employees will have a role to play.

    Offer gentle encouragement rather than mandating training. Many organisations have made the mistake of assuming people now have more time on their hands, forgetting about the family, childcare and home-schooling commitments many have.


    It might seem like there isn’t much to celebrate at times like these. That’s why highlighting the small wins will mean so much to your employees. Regularly showing your appreciation for sacrifices, new ways of working and extra effort can provide a big morale boost for your team.

    The way your employees feel supported during times of crisis will have a huge impact on their perception of your organisation and your leadership. By giving reasons to be optimistic and the platform for people to support each other, you’ll increase engagement at a time when feeling involved is something we all need.

    Manage your employees using Business Australia's free online HR tool for up to five employees. Assign contracts and policies from an extensive library of legal documents, and performance KPIs and more here. 



CALL: 02 4861 6917

WRITE: PO BOX 799 Bowral NSW 2576

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