A boost to regional economic recovery

Three Kimberley Chamber of Commerce and Industry groups are set to benefit from a new initiative launched by Horizon Power, which will support the post COVID-19 economic recovery of small businesses throughout regional Western Australia.

Broome and Derby Chamber of Commerce and Industry groups along with Fitzroy Crossing Business Network will benefit from funds being provided through Vibrant Regional Businesses – a community-led investment program developed by Horizon Power in consultation with eight regional Chamber of Commerce and Industry groups.

Jodie Lynch, Broome Retail and Community Manager for Horizon Power said the Vibrant Regional Businesses program was all about meeting the needs of the community’s local small businesses in ways which will best support them in their post COVID-19 business recovery.

“We invited our local Chambers to consult with their members to inform the development of the program,” Jodie said.

“The response was overwhelming, and very quickly we identified a number of ways in which Horizon Power could be contributing in meaningful ways to the revitalisation of the regions we serve.”

Many of the Chambers indicated their community members and businesses had very good recovery ideas. However, with many businesses under threat of closing there was a need for support in areas such as business mentoring and planning services, digital innovation, as well as networking and events.

Broome Chamber of Commerce and Industry is one of the recipients of the initiative, and will receive $20,000 to support the delivery of digital innovation services to its members in Broome along with members of the recently formed Fitzroy Crossing Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Elaine Jolliffe, Chief Executive Officer of Broome Chamber of Commerce and Industry said that while businesses in the region were experiencing the impacts of COVID-19 in different ways, there was common sentiment that moving forward, the way they did business would change.

“Our members are experiencing uncertainty and recognise that they do not have all the tools in place to transition into the new normal of conducting business,” Elaine said.

“Businesses are trying to adapt and keep up with technology. Through Horizon Power’s Vibrant Regional Businesses program, we will be able to offer our members small grants of up to $1,000 to develop and enhance their digital footprint.”

Local businesses will have the opportunity to access specialist digital services, including website and e-platform development, as well as online marketing and social media support to enhance their online presence and customer engagement.

“We see this as a win-win for our business community,” Elaine said.

“Our local business community is set to benefit from improving their digital platforms, and will be engaging local specialists to provide these services.”

 

-ENDS-

Media contact: Donna House 0436 635 827

Email: donna.house@horizonpower.com.au

 

About Horizon Power

Horizon Power is the West Australian Government’s regional and remote power provider.  We are passionate about what we do, and strive to ensure our customers receive safe and reliable power to their homes, businesses and communities.

Spanning some 2.3 million square kilometres, this makes us responsible for the largest geographical catchment of any Australian power provider.

We operate 38 power systems delivering power to more than 110,000 homes, communities and businesses. This includes 34 microgrids tailored to meet the unique needs of some of the most isolated and remote communities in the world.

Horizon Power is making significant investments in developing its renewable energy capability and expertise.  It currently has a number of initiatives underway exploring new and innovative ways of providing our customers with more sustainable, affordable power.

For more information visit www.horizonpower.com.au.

RCCIWA Impact Survey Five Summary Report

Results from the fifth survey in our continuing series on the impact of COVID 19 on businesses in regional WA indicate that as we see more easing of restrictions and move towards a new way of doing business in regional WA,  confidence in regards to surviving and recovering has increased further.

92% of all respondents feel confident that their business will survive this pandemic and 63% have seen an increase in business activity since easing of restrictions commenced. We know this increased confidence is driven by many factors, with the access to relief and stimulus measures being a major one. This is also why 55% of all respondents have asked for JobKeeper to be extended.

Still the region of most concern for RCCIWA is the Kimberley Region – with many factors contributing to those businesses being the most severely impacted in regional WA right now. We will continue to advocate for additional support measures for Kimberley businesses and will utilise the data collected in our surveys to highlight their situation.

Please thank your members for completing our survey – the information is being well used and their opinion and feedback does matter. We know everyone is getting a bit surveyed out, so the fact that regional businesses are taking the time to complete it is most appreciated. You have our permission to share our survey reports, including those from Surveys Two, Three and Four.