Council offers mentoring program for Hawkesbury tourism operators in recovery

A new mentoring program for Hawkesbury tourism businesses has been making great progress and helping local tourism operators said Hawkesbury Mayor, Councillor Barry Calvert.

The Business Bounce Back Mentoring Program was launched in April, 2020 by Hawkesbury City Council, as part of its broader business recovery program.

Bouncing back: Curraweena House was severley impacted by both the bushfires and COVID-19. Picture: Supplied

Bouncing back: Curraweena House was severley impacted by both the bushfires and COVID-19. Picture: Supplied

"22 tourism businesses throughout the Hawkesbury are on the mentoring program, which is specifically designed to help registered businesses across all aspects of tourism," said Cr Calvert.

"The one on one mentoring is helping businesses that have been affected by recent events of bushfires, floods and COVID-19.

"We hope that this program assists businesses in providing the business tools for resilience in the future."

Off Road Rush owner Penny Ramsay said she found the program to be very useful.

"The Business Bounce Back Program has been fantastic in supporting me through the reopening of my business, especially after experiencing the double whammy of loss from bush fire, followed by closure from COVID-19," she said.

"The assistance I have received, especially in the area of marketing, has truly been invaluable.

"To have an independent support team look at my business from a fresh perspective has really helped identify areas that we can improve upon, while also helping us to locate and utilise the resources that are available to work on those improvements. It has been a fantastic initiative."

Rebecca Want, of Curraweena House, said the mentoring had really helped her business bounce back from the bushfires and COVID-19.

"Both events have had a significant impact on our small business but I am optimistic that with support and mentoring that we will bounce back," she said.

"The mentoring sessions have assisted me with identifying target customers, identifying the value proposition and moving towards targeted marketing.

"I am now striving to achieve my small business goals."

Recovery: The team at Rush Cars two days before the recent bushfire destroyed a lot at the business. Picture: supplied.

Recovery: The team at Rush Cars two days before the recent bushfire destroyed a lot at the business. Picture: supplied.

Cr Calvert believes the tourism businesses deserve to be acknowledged for their conscientious approach during COVID-19 and for their compliance in health and safety for their customers and the wider community.

"Hawkesbury tourism businesses are doing a great job with complying with and communicating their COVID-Safe practices," he said.

"We've had reports that visitors to local accommodation such as bed and breakfasts are impressed with their COVID-Safe practices."

For more information and to join the program, email City Design and Economic Development Manager Amanda Kearney at business@hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au or call 4560 4444.

Council has set up the Hawkesbury Business Hub at www.yourhawkesbury-yoursay.com.au/hbh to offer centralised business information to local businesses.

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