Minister for Employment and Small Business Di Farmer said the impact of COVID-19 was being felt by small businesses in Far North Queensland and across the state, and that experienced business professionals could help guide them grow.
“We know that the best thing we can do for small businesses is keep our economy growing, do everything we can to ensure any lockdowns are short and sharp, and keep them open and trading,” Minister Farmer said.
“Our strong health response has allowed us to do that, and of course we are now on a huge vaccination push so we can open up to interstate travellers.
“However, we know the impact of COVID-19 is being felt, which is why we’ve provided a range of financial support and put backing small business at the heart of our $14.5 COVID-19 Economic Recovery Plan.”
Member for Cook, Cynthia Lui, said the government was on the lookout for more of Queensland’s brightest business minds to help small business owners.
“Often what businesses really need is that one on one mentoring, someone who can walk alongside them and help with specific challenges and opportunities,” Mrs Lui said.
“That’s where our Mentoring for Growth program comes in. It’s a free program for Queensland small businesses that provides access to a state-wide pool of mentors who are matched to businesses based on their skills and knowledge.
“In the last financial year, 95 per cent of mentees said that their business reported a projected increase in either employment, turnover or profitability following their session.
“With more businesses seeking advice as they adapt to new ways of operating, more mentors are needed across the state including here in Far North Queensland.”
Mentoring for Growth is part of the Palaszczuk Government’s Big Plans for Small Business Strategy and helps small business grow by increasing skills, capability, and identifying opportunities.
Mossman’s Michael Sausman, a volunteer business mentor since 2012 specialising in sales, strategic planning and governance, said it was a rewarding program for both mentors and mentees.
“Sharing knowledge is always a valuable experience – everyone learns and gains from it,” Mr Sausman said.
“Contributing to the wider business community and helping business owners and directors think strategically has been the highlight of my mentoring experience.”
Minister Farmer encouraged other business owners in Far North Queensland to get involved in mentoring.
“I encourage experienced businessmen and women who know what it’s like to start and grow a business, or who have a specific skillset they can share – just like Michael – to contribute to the success of other Far North Queensland businesses and nominate to be a mentor,” Minister Farmer said.