The NSW government has made available up to $640,000 in funding for the grants this year for more than 190 local chambers of commerce and 128 councils in NSW to access and put on events and online activities, according to a statement.
Councils and local chambers of commerce can apply for up to $2,000 in grant funding to run activities in their local communities as part of the NSW government’s Small Business Month festival program.
Funding will be allocated on a first come, first served basis, with applications open until 31 August 2020 or until grant funding is exhausted.
NSW Finance and Small Business Minister Damien Tudehope said this year’s festival activities were designed to help small-business owners to get online, adapt their business practices and engage with other organisations.
“2020 has already seen unprecedented challenges in NSW and small businesses have been greatly impacted. The festival themes include how to manage disruption, future planning, getting your business online as well as learning all the latest marketing and social media tips,” Mr Tudehope said.
“It is also about recognising the 785,000 small- to medium-sized businesses that represent 41 per cent of the state’s private sector workforce that drive our economy.”
More advisers hired to assist creative industries hit by COVID-19
The NSW government has also hired five new Business Connect advisers to provide free-of-charge advice to small businesses in the creative sector affected by COVID-19.
The new advisers are among an additional 40 to be engaged through Business Connect.
Mr Tudehope said the creative industries were some of the most impacted industries by the coronavirus crisis.
“In total, there are now 10 Business Connect advisers with creative backgrounds and they have the skills to help small businesses in that industry to navigate the current situation,” he said.
“The advisers can also provide information about government support options for the NSW arts and cultural sector and put organisations in touch with state agencies.”
NSW Minister for the Arts Don Harwin said the Business Connect advisers have already assisted 6,700 small businesses.
“This is a wonderful opportunity for the NSW arts and cultural sector that has been so greatly valued by the community over this difficult time,” he said.