Supporting small business through major works
Image: Landcorp and SBDC staff at the Small Business Friendly Projects workshop
As the State gets serious about major infrastructure planning, a collaborative initiative is ensuring small business owners are not on their own when construction starts.
Led by the Small Business Development Corporation (SBDC), the ‘Small Business Friendly Projects’ initiative is building the capability of government agencies to better engage with small business owners about the impacts of major infrastructure and construction projects.
Developed in consultation with the Water Corporation, Main Roads WA and the METRONET team, SBDC’s suite of Small Business Friendly Projects guides provides State Government agencies, local government and small business owners with strategies for preparing for major public works.
The guides incorporate learnings from recent major developments such as Elizabeth Quay, to assist agencies to be ‘small business friendly’ by developing tailored small business engagement strategies for business owners in and around construction zones.
“Major public works can impact nearby businesses in a range of ways, leading to sudden drops in turnover, disruption to deliveries or other challenges,” Small Business Commissioner David Eaton said.
“Early engagement gives small businesses time to prepare and plan for this disruption. It also helps agencies limit those impacts on individual businesses.”
Landcorp, SBDC, Water Corporation and Main Roads WA led a workshop to support the rollout of the guides, for government agencies that undertake, or contract out, infrastructure maintenance and construction. Attendees included the Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority, Western Power and the Department of Communities.
SBDC is also engaging with private contractors undertaking work through government contracts or on private developments, and assisting projects across the metropolitan area. This includes partnering with Landcorp on engagement plans for the Subiaco East Redevelopment, and working with the Public Transport Authority on METRONET works and small business engagement in and around Bayswater Station.
For an example of the guides in action, refer to the case study: Water Corporation puts small business guides into practice.
SBDC has also launched Small Business Friendly Local Governments, and is working with local governments such as the Shire of Broome on its China Town revitalisation project, and the City of Canning on its upcoming multimillion dollar city centre redevelopment.
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