Businesses need council’s support

Jacqueline Brodie-Hanns, Barkers Creek

Tony Bell is a very successful businessman with decades of experience under his belt.
As such, perhaps he doesn’t need the business education workshops offered by council, which he criticises in his letter (‘Spare us please!’, Opinions, October 30).
Unfortunately not all business operators are as seasoned or savvy as Mr Bell. Many small businesses struggle to survive and large numbers don’t make it. Small business is tough and operators need all the assistance they can get.
Mount Alexander Shire Council is to be congratulated for its program of business education workshops. These workshops are so popular that they sell out – I know, I have tried to get into a couple of them only to miss out on a place! The workshops are run by Business Victoria and delivered by industry professionals. The state government subsidises these training sessions and there is no cost whatsoever to council or to ratepayers. Indeed the workshops are entirely cost neutral as the fees paid to attend cover the costs of staff supervision, advertising and catering. That sounds like good business sense to me.
In addition to his business acumen, Mr Bell has experienced first hand the realities of life as a councillor. You are damned if you do, and damned if you don’t!
Local business demands that council get behind them and offer support. So they run low-cost business training sessions and then cop further criticism. This criticism is unfair and unfounded. I hope to see even more of these initiatives from council to support our local business community. Long may our small businesses survive and thrive!

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