News«GABN President's Commentary 13-Jan-23 (The Ararat Advocate)
GABN President's Commentary 13-Jan-23 (The Ararat Advocate)
16 January 2023
23 July 2024
4.07 minutes

GABN President: Cam Conboy

THERE is no doubt Ararat businesses have gone through some ups and downs in recent years.

I was really pleased to receive feedback from a number of business operators that Christmas 2022 was generally quite good for our local business community. As life has returned to normal, people have started returning to our cafes, restaurants, hotels, gift shops and other retail outlets. People coming into towns means dollars and those dollars make our local businesses more viable.

The Greater Ararat Business Network has worked hard in recent years to support and encourage people to shop locally. Supporting local business isn’t just talk. It’s about changing our behaviour, it’s about trying to source something locally before going out of town, it’s about money flowing through our community to employ local residents to the benefit of everyone.


With the new year upon us, the Greater Ararat Business Network extends an invitation to all businesses within our municipality to get involved. Our group of almost 100 members is a great outlet for all businesses to discuss issues, seek advice and/or mentoring from other businesses. We hold regular Business After Dark activities, where a selected local business hosts an evening where they can talk about and promote what it is their business does. These evenings are also a great way to meet other people in businesses in the area in a relaxed environment.


Business Victoria has advised us there will be several visits by the Small Business Bus to the region in 2023, with the first being Halls Gap. The Small Business Bus travels to locations across Victoria providing advice and support for small businesses. Business advisors from Rural Financial Counselling Service (RFCS) can help you with one on one tailored advice on topics such as financial hardship and business planning for established businesses. Confidential sessions are 45mins, free of charge and bookings are essential. Walk-ins are also welcome. This service provides general information about Business Victoria as well as the Planning and Starting Your Business pack. The Small Business Bus will be outside the Halls Gap Visitor Information Centre on Thursday the 2nd of February from 10am to 4pm. To book please visit https://www.eventbrite.

If you or someone you know is interested in joining the Greater Ararat Business Network, please contact myself Cam Conboy (Gorst Rural) or any of our committee members Peter McGrath (Sains Lucas), Matt Linsley (Acacia Caravan Park), Ashleigh Marx (Ray White Real Estate), Craig Wilson (Ararat Advocate), Kelsey Hosking (Grampians Insurance), Geannie Bell (Safe Power), Dominic Gallo (East Grampians Health Service) and Maria Whitford (Ararat RSL)

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