Bushfire regions visited by mobile business centre

Information, support and free mentoring has been made available to small business operators affected by the recent bushfires in the Grampians, with the Victorian Government's Mobile Business Centre visiting Stawell and Halls Gap.

Minister for Innovation, Services and Small Business Louise Asher, said the Victorian Coalition Government is committed to providing assistance to businesses affected by natural disasters.

"Business owners affected by the recent bushfires in the Grampians were able to tap into expert advice on business recovery, provided by one of the volunteers from the Small Business Mentoring Service," Ms Asher said.

"These mentors have many years' experience either running their own small business, or working in senior management in business. Their skillsets include marketing, finance, human resources and sales.

"This is in addition to the jointly funded Commonwealth-Victorian Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangement, whereby individuals and families in the affected areas can access personal hardship and distress assistance to help with immediate emergency needs."

Ms Asher said that the Mobile Business Centre provided free, face-to-face and expert help to those at the coalface of the Victorian economy.

"The Mobile Business Centre includes information about Small Business Victoria's year-round services, including; low-cost seminars, workshops and programs," she said.

"There is also extensive literature on board about planning, starting and growing a business, with information on everything from registering for taxation to formulating a business plan."

The Mobile Business Centre delivered more than 745 mentoring sessions to more than 103 suburbs and towns across Victoria during 2013 and will visit a significant number of locations throughout regional Victoria and metropolitan Melbourne in 2014.

For more information on the Mobile Business Centre or to book a mentoring session, visit business.vic.gov.au/mbc or call Small Business Victoria on 13 22 15.

For further information on the disaster assistance available, contact the Victorian Department of Human Services 1300 790 733 and visit the Australian Government's Disaster Assist website at www.disasterassist.gov.au

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