The Small Business Centre (SBC) Mid-West in Geraldton has posted some impressive results for the first quarter of 2006.
In his address this morning to the Mid-West SBC, Small Business Minister Norm Marlborough said that since the new network came into operation on January 1 this year, the SBC Geraldton had registered 166 new business clients, with 114 existing businesses using the service.
“These are outstanding results, proving that the SBC Mid-West is delivering much valued services to new and existing businesses,” Mr Marlborough said.
“In addition, 25 jobs have been created in this first quarter with the centre’s assistance.”
A total of 148 people attended SBC workshops during the quarter, including 93 people attending the ‘Retail Today’ workshops in March.
“The excellent results for the Mid-West SBC indicate that our new better-funded network is already reaping benefits for the region,” the Minister said.
The State Government increased recurrent core funding to the SBC network this year by 24 per cent to $2.83million.
Of the 26 SBCs in the network across Western Australia, 74 per cent of the program’s funding is allocated to the 19 SBCs in regional WA.
“Small businesses in this central zone - from the Mid-West to the Avon to the Eastern Districts of the Wheatbelt - are getting a better funded service from the State Government,” Mr Marlborough said.
Overall, funding for the central zone has increased from $540,000 under the old Business Enterprise Centre model to $634,800 this year.
“This is another clear example of how the Carpenter Government is improving services to strengthen regional economies,” the Minister said.
Mr Marlborough identified the current skills shortage as one of the key issues facing small business in WA.
“We are focusing on attracting skilled migrants to WA,” he said.
“I now have personal control of the State Government Skills Migration Unit and co-ordinated efforts with the Regional Development Commissions will ensure that matching regional employment opportunities with prospective skilled migrants will be maximised.
“The Carpenter Government has three objectives for small business - providing a strong economic climate, providing better services for small business and achieving the best possible use of the services available.”
Minister's office: 9213 6500