Extension of vital business support funding to Commerce Ballarat

At the ordinary April Council meeting, Ballarat Council approved a three year funding and service agreement with Commerce Ballarat to the total of $415,725 to help support the not-for-profit organisation.  

Commerce Ballarat provides advocacy for the local business community, as well as a broad range of support services to more than 650 member organisations from across Ballarat. Many programs are also available to non-member businesses.

The extension of the agreement adds three more years to the 20 year collaboration.  

The funding helps Commerce Ballarat deliver a range of programs and events including networking events, conferences, industry forums, skill development works, promotions, and the annual Business Awards.

Commerce Ballarat’s purpose is to better business in Ballarat by:  

  • Creating and driving business activity;
  • Providing leadership and advocacy;
  • Collaborating with key stakeholders to advance business; and
  • Facilitating knowledge and skills development for business.

The agreement also helps Commerce Ballarat hold events by providing a facility in kind to be used for the annual Business Awards launch.  

The funding has increased from $113,575 per annum to $138,575 per annum and this helps Commerce Ballarat deliver new events responding to emerging business needs, such as:

  • Forage and Feast program to support the local producers and hospitality sector.  
  • Mental health support programs  
  • Themed industry specific chats, such as trade breakfasts and hospitality discussions.  
  • Ballarat Business month, held in August.  

As well as supporting Commerce Ballarat via this agreement, the City of Ballarat is also helping to fund and promote the Commerce Ballarat Business Assistance Program, to which City of Ballarat has allocated $20,000. This connects local businesses to local support and advice on a broad range of business areas, such as business planning, finance and marketing.  

For more information on Commerce Ballarat’s events, please visit commerceballarat.com.au.

City of Ballarat Mayor, Cr Des Hudson said Commerce Ballarat is an incredible advocate for businesses across our city.  

“Commerce Ballarat creates a united voice for all Ballarat businesses and the support and leadership they provide our local operators is invaluable,” he said.  

“The City of Ballarat is proud to support a trusted organisation, that delivers business activity and facilitates knowledge and skills for our business community.”  

Commerce Ballarat CEO Jodie Gillet thanked the City of Ballarat Councillors for voting to continue to support Commerce Ballarat.  

“We feel this is recognition of the services we provide to the local business community and the importance of having a strong, independent voice for business in our region,” she said.  

“This is an incredibly tough business environment and now more than ever, Ballarat businesses need a partner that understands and can offer support through advocacy, marketing and development.”  

Source: ballarat.vic.gov.au

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