Council to provide new streamlined business service
Blue Mountains City Council will partner in Service NSW’s ‘Easy to do Business’ program for those opening or expanding a small business, to streamline the process.
Council endorsed (at the Ordinary Council meeting on 29 January) the creation of a Memorandum of Understanding with Service NSW, so the service could be rolled out locally in coming months.
Blue Mountains Mayor, Cr Mark Greenhill, said the program would benefit Council and Council’s small business customers.
“The program assists in navigating the 3 levels of government and their requirements,” Cr Greenhill said.
“In the current environment business owners can be required to work with up to 13 agencies and 48 forms, incurring significant time and cost. This program reduces this laborious experience to a single portal and streamlines the interactions with Local, State and Federal Governments to achieve the necessary permissions in a less than 90 day average.”
The platform can enable a business to register, and obtain an ABN, and provide guidance in relation to necessary Council approvals.
For example, those looking to start up a café, restaurant or small bar can benefit from the program as they can:
- Attain a unique digital profile that helps fast track the approval process across all levels of government.
- Receive the support of a dedicated Business Concierge who can answer questions, liaise with Council and review applications to ensure they are ‘decision ready’.
- Receive step-by-step guidance through the application process, and
- Know upfront the time, fees and effort involved in starting a business.
The intention is to build awareness of specialist advice services available, ensure Council staff can direct enquiries to these services and provide applicants with the skills to be better informed and researched prior to lodging any applications.
To date 87 Councils in NSW have signed up to be a program partner, with a further 17 currently progressing the matter. The benefits to Council include:
- Increased productivity, achieved through higher quality applications and reduced transaction costs.
- Some level of tailoring to our specific preferences (e.g. referral to Duty Planner, checklists tailored to council requirements), and
- Improved economic outcomes for small businesses in the Blue Mountains.
The initiative is consistent with Council’s Community Strategic Plan Thrive Objective 6.1, which states: “The City’s economy is diverse, strong and environmentally sustainable with increased local employment.”
Council has participated in the Small Business Friendly Councils (SBFC) initiative since 2015 which assists in implementing programs that support small business.