Press Release

Date of Release: 
Monday, February 2, 2009

Port Macquarie Hastings Council, North Coast TAFE and the NSW Business Chamber are proud to announce the launch of their STARTUP Business Development Program to assist aspiring business owners in the Hastings. The partners are committed to the economic viability of our community and believe that this program will help raise the relatively poor success rates of new business in their first year of operation.

Since announcing its intention late in 2008 already 10 aspiring business owners and eleven Mentors have joined the program and are at various stages of the program’s three phases. The new STARTUP Business Development Program uses Mentors to assist aspiring business operators gain the skills needed for success, especially in their first year of operation. Many start-up businesses fail, often due to a lack of essential business knowledge or skills that, had it been available to aspiring entrepreneurs, may have assured survival and growth.

“Mitch McKay from Port Macquarie Hastings Heritage says the opportunity to discuss business ideas prior to embarking on a venture and the support shown from program facilitators has been extremely useful in fine-tuning his start up approach.”

“The advice given to me by Grant Burtenshaw through the STARTUP Business Development Program has been invaluable in helping me to grow my business (Sue Walter Wholistic Nutrition Iridology Health & Wellbeing) since my arrival in Port Macquarie last June. I knew what I wanted to do and I knew that I could do it but I wasn't sure how to get there. I had doubts about starting up my business in a new community where I had few contacts. My business and client-base has been growing at a rapid rate since implementing some of the smart, simple and cost effective marketing techniques Grant has given me. My determination and faith in my success has been revived.”

"The start up business development program has provided me with useful knowledge and information to access resources that may not have been available to other aspiring business owners. The sound knowledge that as a client you can draw upon from the mentors and facilitator Grant Burtenshaw assists in practical advice and experience which provides you with both a meaningful and practical tool to assist in starting a business and to provide every opportunity to empower the business owner to meet the challenges of running such a venture; this something that isn't available through a text book. "

Rob Oakeshott MP, local independent Member says “the first year or two of any small business are without doubt the hardest, and the next two years will present extra challenges for those making the leap in starting their own venture. All support and advice should therefore be sought by those starting out, and the STARTUP program is a great vehicle for some peer review, some practical advice, and possibly some nuggets of gold to increase profits. I strongly urge new business operators to consider getting involved, Mr Oakeshott said.

“It is also a reflection of community strength that NSW Business Chamber, Port Macquarie Hastings Council, and North Coast TAFE are working together on this. They deserve congratulations on this program, said Mr Oakeshott.

"Council's Key Business Development Program has had some very encouraging business outcomes for many of the businesses involved. I anticipate similar results will emerge in time from the Start Up Program I would like to applaud the wonderful support provided by both North Coast Institute of TAFE and the NSW Business Chamber in assisting Council to build the foundation stone for something we believe will have great benefit to the local economy." Said Trevor Sargeant, Economic Development Manager.

Those that are contemplating or are in the early stages of a new business can meet with Grant Burtenshaw, the facilitator of the program, at Port Macquarie TAFE Campus cafeteria on Mondays between 11:30and 1pm, or Wauchope Campus on Tuesdays between 12:30 and 1:30pm or at Growers Coffee next to Growers Market in Gordon Street on Tuesdays between 10 & 11am or phone 6584 0910 or 0437 882 002. The program is fully sponsored by the partners.