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Week-long Small Business Festival in Latrobe City gives a great opportunity to network with other small business owners
Latrobe City Small Business Festival drew to a close on Wednesday evening with a sold-out event headlined by founder and global CEO of Business Chicks, Emma Issacs.
The week-long Small Business Festival provided a range of events to prospective and current business owners within Latrobe City. Over 300 people took the opportunity to hear from experts in their fields, while also enjoying the opportunity to network with other small business owners. Latrobe City Council Mayor Kellie O'Callaghan said that these types of events can be a valuable source of ideas to aid business owners in enhancing and growing their businesses.
Business owners and community members are invited to join in the festival, which will feature four separate events held across the City during the week
Providing unique opportunity
Cr O'Callaghan said, "Our City has more than 4,500 small businesses, from the traditional bricks and mortar shop front, to Ecommerce and those run from individuals' homes. These businesses play an important role in the fabric of our broader community, and are the engine room of our economy. Small business is an important contributor to our local economy and provides significant employment."
"Council understands it can be difficult for business owners to navigate business through a fluctuating economy from lean to more prosperous times. This is why it was important for us to provide business owners with the unique opportunity to learn from industry specialists and build professional networks at what continues to be a critical time for local businesses as we recover from the impacts of COVID-19."
Best foot forward
The Small Business Festival hosted a range of events including a workshop on the importance of first impressions, with Visual Merchandising expert CC. Visual case studies provided participants with an insight as to how to put their best foot forward to maximise visibility and customer experiences through their product placement and displays. As a bonus, CC conducted a ballot on the night with five businesses to receive a one-on-one intensive visual merchandising support session.
Matt Jones, Four Pillars Gin Co-Founder and Brand Director, served up a tantalising gin taster before encouraging those in attendance to build a brand story. A former panellist on ABC's Gruen, Matt spoke about the importance of talking about and telling your brand story, and the role that it plays in creating brand loyalty.
Matt Jones, Four Pillars Gin Co-Founder and Brand Director and Mayor Cr Kellie O'Callaghan
Advocate on issues of concern
The leader of Business Chicks, Australia's largest networking organisation for women and author of two books, Emma Isaacs provided an insight as to how small businesses can grow and improve their customer base and service. Noting the importance of 'making a customer not a sale'. The Festival also saw the launch of the Latrobe City Business Chamber at a networking breakfast with Dr Keith Suter, one of Australia's most influential global futurists and media commentators in national and foreign affairs.
The combined business chamber spoke of their aim to clearly and effectively represent the view of local business in Latrobe City to the general community, and to advocate on issues of concern for members and the business community as a whole.
The Chamber will hold an Annual General Meeting later in the year. The Small Business Festival was organised and delivered by Latrobe City Council Business Development Team and was made possible through the support of the Victorian government's COVIDSafe Outdoor Activation Fund.
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