Six Gunnedah businesses will benefit from $7,750 in funding under the Business Partner Program.
In round one of the program, Gunnedah Shire Council received 21 applications from small businesses including eateries, gyms, real estate and day care centres.
Among the successful applicants were the Commercial Hotel in Curlewis, new start-ups ODU Sportswear and Annie’s Kitchen, Kinfolk Student Cafes, Provincial Printery and Impact Solutions.
The Curlewis pub received $2500 to assist co-owners Kevin and Gwenda Edmonds to renovate the heritage building and “bring it into the 2000s”.
Their daughter and publican Melinda McCulloch said they have tackled the dining room first, with fresh paint, a new bar and plans to purchase new furniture.
“Matt and Erin who are running the kitchen have put in a beautiful new bar, which was made from a piece of wood from their property,” Ms McCulloch said.
“We’re trying to make it a bit of a destination pub. Lots of people go to the small villages around Gunnedah for meals and Curlewis has a beautiful beer garden that’s enclosed.”
Council’s economic development manager Charlotte Hoddle said the plans the family had for the pub could have “huge benefits for the community of Curlewis”.
Kinfolk Student Cafes is also looking ahead and will receive $500 to prepare promotional materials to further the business’ reach.
Ms Hoddle said the “superstar sister act”, Lisa Davis. Kirsty Lawlor and Jenna Patterson are “going from strength to strength” and told them to “keep doing what you’re doing”.
Kinfolk was established in Gunnedah in 2017 and aims to provide nutritious food to students and staff in schools and already services five schools and pre-schools in Gunnedah, and one school in Armidale. The business was recently a finalist in the New England North West Business Awards.
“We grew the idea and we saw there was an absolute need,” Mrs Davis said.
The sisters now have their sights set on the Central Coast and are currently preparing to submit a tender for a school there. The business was
“We’re hungry, we want it, so we will keep looking for opportunities and see how big we can go,” Mrs Davis said.
Provincial Printery is also looking to expand, with the hopes of adding signage to its services.
“We feel we need to diversify from the printing game and doing signage would be the next goal,” co-owner Pam Duff said.
The printery was established 60 years ago and Ms Duff has worked there for 35 years. She said more people were turning back to tactile methods of recording information but offering signage would add another string to their bow.
Gunnedah shire mayor Jamie Chaffey said the Business Partner Program was a “key component that supports the economic strategy at council”.
Cr Chaffey said since the program had been reviewed, the number of applicants had increased significantly, which is “a great step forward”.