The first round of Gunnedah Shire Council's financially-boosted Business Partner Program (BPP) has been announced, with 15 local businesses benefiting from increased funds.
The August round was the first of the 2020/2021 rounds of the BPP which, over the course of the financial year, will have an extra $200,000 injected for COVID-19 relief.
Gunnedah Chamber of Commerce was one of the 15 successful applicants, and its $1400 slice from the funding pie will be used for supporting its members through the pandemic.
"It's about listening to concerns and advocating for what those businesses want to see happening in Gunnedah and [the funding] strengthens chamber's reserves in that respect," chamber president Juliana McArthur said.
Ms McArthur said it was great that the council "continues to be so supportive of business during these difficult times" through the extra BPP funding.
"We're appreciating that councillors have an eye on how the economy will go once JobKeeper is reduced and eventually phased out," she told ACM.
Men's Retreat Barbershop was another recipient of the funding, and owner Zoe Connolly said the $1500 received would give her the opportunity to expand her business.
She said this expansion would mean the ability to train more staff, and allow for further apprenticeships for local young people wanting to start out in the industry.
The funding would also help through the tough time the coronavirus has provided.
"It affected us [with] social distancing and stuff like that, and the extra care in cleanliness," Ms Connolly said.
"The beginning of COVID-19 affected business itself, but obviously you've just got to make the changes so [business] is able to continue.
"More and more businesses will have to deal with coronavirus [restrictions], you just have to work around it to make it sort of normal life, I guess."
Councillor and member of the BPP advisory group, Ann Luke, said at Wednesday's ordinary council meeting that it was a "tough gig" choosing the successful applicants of this round.
"We had a lot of consideration of these and actually ended up meeting on two separate occasions," Cr Luke said.
"A lot of hard work and deep thinking went into it from the group."
The advisory group has recommended an allocation of $28,250 across the local businesses and organisations.
The full list of recipients of the August round are as follows:
- Royal Hotel, Tambar Springs - $10,000 towards a renovation
- The Beauty Loft - $2000 towards a makeover for the businessTwo Souls Boutique - $2000 for a new business start-up
- Stacey McAllan Legal - $1900 towards a Legal Dispute Resolution Centre
- BPA Civil and Mining Pty Ltd - $1700 towards business and employment marketing
- Men's Retreat Barbershop - $1500 towards a shop upgrade
- Micah Barnes Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning - $1500 towards advertising
- Gunnedah & District Chamber of Commerce and Industry - $1400 towards recovery engagement with Gunnedah businesses
- Two Cats Creative - $1000 towards signage and backdrop
- Healing with Bowen - $1000 towards advertising and marketing
- Practical Health Consulting - $1000 towards an upgrade
- Jade Punch Art - $1000 towards a home office set-up
- Gunnedah BnB - $1000 towards business start up
- Carwash 2380 - $750 towards social media and brand awareness campaign
- Gunnedah Serviced Apartments - $500 towards upgrade of website and signage