SMALL BUSINESS ASSISTANCE  November 2000

Asset Acquisition Projects

SMALL BUSINESS ASSISTANCE  November 2000

The Department of State and Regional Development provides a range of programs to support the growth of small and medium enterprises.

Following are types of programs available;
- Aboriginal enterprise development program
- Business expansion program
- Business migrant information and referral service
- Export advisers
- Innovation advisory centres
- Women in business mentor program
- Youth enterprise education

Business expansion program
Part of the Ausindustry suite of programs, the Business Expansion Program encourages small businesses to plan strategically for their future. The Program acknowledges the shortage of time most small enterprises are able to devote to management planning. It subsides specialist consultants to provide independent professional advice on strategic management issues where this is of direct benefit to NSW.
Who is eligible? The Program is available to a range of small firms that meet the scheme's financial viability and growth prospects criteria. It caters for two business situations:
 existing businesses wanting to expand their markets, diversify products or services or plan for future growth
 existing businesses experiencing management problems.

Export advisers
Export Advisers encourage and assist companies based in regional NSW to take advantage of export opportunities. They draw on DSRD and the collaborative resources of Agsell, Ausindustry, Austrade, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade to advise regional businesses thinking of exporting. A major driver of NSW's economic growth is the participation of innovative small and medium firms in international markets. However, many firms are deterred by lack of information on export market opportunities and complex procedures and regulations. These challenges are increased in regional areas where information sourcing and sharing is often limited by lack of an export culture in business. The Export Adviser Program places advisers in strategic areas of NSW to give hands-on advice and guidance to regional businesses. Advisers are located in the Bathurst, Nowra, Tamworth, Griffith/Wagga and Coffs Harbour/Grafton areas.
Who is eligible?
Assistance is available to export-capable firms in the traded goods and services sectors.
Assistance
Advisers help regional companies to identify market opportunities and develop export information. They also assist firms to access Government programs and private sector initiatives which encourage business growth and exporting.

Innovation advisory centres
These Centres provide a dedicated service to inventors and innovators through offering expert advice on developing new ideas commercially. Centres provide a range of services to help enterprises transform ideas into marketable products and processes. They also help small businesses access a range of information and programs which encourage the uptake of innovative practices.
Assistance
Services provided by the Centres include:
- free access to specially designed self-assessment software, including a confidential printout
- free business advice and referral to appropriate organisations and individuals
- subsidised two hour technical assessment, including written report.
Who is eligible?
Centres can be accessed by inventors and innovators who have developed original concepts as well as new or improved devices, products, materials, business processes, services or ideas.

I have outlined only three of the programs and should readers wish to access details on the other programs, please do not hesitate to contact my office on 6621 3624.

Lismore Contact Details:

Office: 55 Carrington Street  LISMORE
Postal: PO Box 52  LISMORE  NSW  2480
Telephone: 02 6621 3624
Facsimile: 02 6622 1403
Email: lismore@parliament.nsw.gov.au

Murwillumbah Contact Details:

Telephone: 02 6672 7577