THE inaugural Mornington Peninsula Small Business Festival is predicted to “inspire and upskill small peninsula businesses”.
Mornington Peninsula Shire says the festival held throughout August “will boast inspiring presentations, engaging activities and practical workshops on topics such as staffing challenges, sustainability, marketing, financial advice and so much more”.
“The curated program has been developed by the shire, with events run by the Shire as well as expert agencies including Small Business Mentoring Service, FMP Jobs and Skills Working Group and Chisholm,” is one of the unattributed quotes in a shire news release.
“Small businesses are welcome to ‘pick and mix’ from the extensive menu of events to suit their business needs.
“The festival will help identify new ways to solve current business problems, upskill leaders and staff and provide opportunities to learn from other’s experiences.”
The upbeat tone of the news release continues with quotes from the mayor Cr Steve Holland and council’s first and only ”small business champion”, Cr Anthony Marsh.
“The Mornington Peninsula is a great place to start, run and grow a small business! Our inaugural Small Business Festival will give locals the opportunity to learn, connect and network – tickets are now available,” Holland said.
Marsh urged small business owners to “explore the program and training sessions to improve skills and knowledge. Our experts will provide valuable business insights”.
Councillors voted to give Marsh was given the small business champion title in 2021.
Cr Kerri McCafferty, who resigned in January, nominated Cr Marsh as the small business champion, saying he had undertaken a “high level of consultation” to “develop” a notice of motion calling for small business support and a champion. McCafferty said Marsh “was the councillor that actually initiated the [motion] he is an obvious choice [for champion] (“Champion for small business” The News 9/8/21).
Next month’s small business festival will be launched during a breakfast at Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery on Wednesday 2 August with an “inspiring presentation from keynote speaker, Mark McCrindle … an award-winning social researcher, influential thought-leader, TEDx speaker and best-selling author”. The $30 cost includes a light breakfast, with the event running from 7am to 10am.
The festival also includes marketing workshops (with advice from Rivexe Digital about leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) marketing tools and Munroe Digital about using videos for social media “to ensure you are staying on top of marketing trends”).
A two-day business accelerator workshop for new businesses “or those who want to take their business to the next level” will cover “critical components of planning and will develop a draft business plan as a blueprint for future success”.
A workforce building forum held at Chisholm’s Rosebud Campus will hear about solutions, finance and grant support for building “workforce and employee pathways specific to your industry”.
The festival follows on from the council in 2019 becoming a Small Business Friendly Council and launching a charter, or agreement, with the Victorian Small Business Commission (VSBC) “to create a fair trading environment for small businesses”.
Under the charter council agrees to work with small businesses on such issues as disruptions by infrastructure projects: streamlining permit approval processes for small businesses; and making prompt payment to small businesses.
Council said it would consult with businesses to develop a refreshed 10-year economic development and tourism strategy in 2023.
Bookings for the Mornington Peninsula Small Business Festival events are essential and tickets and the program can be viewed at: mpbusiness.com.au/smallbusinessfestival