APAC 2017 Australian Enterprise Awards

40 APAC / Australian Enterprise Awards 2017 , AE170055 Best for Business Development Services - New South Wales Hunter Region Business Hub is a community-based not-for-profit organisation located at Kurri Kurri in the Hunter Valley. We spoke to Kerry Hallett to find out more about the firm and the services it offers. Staffed by a small team and guided by a Board of business people from both private industry and local government, Hunter Region Business Hub offers a wide range of services to the six local government areas of the Upper Hunter – Maitland, Cessnock, Dungog, Singleton, Muswellbrook and Upper Hunter. These services include subsidised office spaces; business skills workshops, both in person and online; business advice and coaching; annual Hunter Region Business Excellence Awards; New Enterprise Incentive Scheme and Exploring Being Your Own Boss programs for eligible unemployed; assistance with business planning, grant and tender writing. The Hub’s Mission guides the Board and staff in its strategic focus, as Kerry explains. “Here at the Hub, our mission is to provide independent, confidential business support to new and existing businesses, fostering viable local enterprises in order to boost sustainable economic development and jobs in the Hunter Region. Leading on from this is our publicised slogan “Building Better Business in the Hunter”. The Hub Board and staff see a strong economic climate as being conducive to low unemployment and a comfortable lifestyle for all of the Hunter. Our role in this is to work with businesses to make them the best they can be. “What sets us apart from other, similar service providers, is that the Hub tailors their delivery of services to a client’s needs. With us there is no “one size fits all” which is a trait of many programs. We ascertain what the client needs and develop a plan to individually work with that client. While we have an experienced NEIS and small business start-up mentor on hand, we also contract the services of high level business consultants who have a range of skills. This means that the client will always receive the best care.” Another core feature of the Hub is its dedicated staff, who work hard to provide clients with the highest possible standards of support and service, as Kerry emphasises. “Recognising that we are only a small team, the Hub’s staff have been selected both on their skills and personality. Each staff member has been carefully selected with not only a view to their skills complementing each other, but that they themselves can easily fit in and work in a small team. We are all supportive of each other and work well together, a must with a small team of 4. There are times when someone has to step into another role temporarily if another is away, or really busy and needs a hand. It is a must that everyone is willing to pitch in when required to get a job done, so it is common to see the Manager or Business Advisor not only doing their work, but also photocopying and assembling various presentations, or running up the road to do the banking or mail. On the rare occasion someone has moved on they have been replaced with this in mind. “The Manager’s belief that change is good is rubbing off on the staff, with some great ideas being presented for consideration for the future. While some staff (and Board members) embraced this attitude from the start, others have been slower and comfortable with the status quo. It has taken time and patience to show why something should change, and possible ways it might change with all ideas welcome.” Moving forward, the aim is to grow the Hub whilst at the same time providing the high quality solutions for which it has become renowned, as Kerry concludes. “Currently, the Hub is in the process of working through rebranding, which is quite exciting but it is unbelievable the number of places our old logo is found. Each time we think we’ve changed them all someone will spot it again. Part of this rebranding is also expanding our services to offer coaching and other in-depth services to the small and medium businesses of the Hunter. With this in mind, we have sourced 2 high level, experienced business consultants to deliver these services. As this side of our business expands we will source additional consultants with similar skills levels and are excited for the opportunities this will bring.” Company: Hunter Region Business Hub Contact: Kerry Hallett Contact Email: [email protected] Address: Cnr Barton St & Merthyr St, Kurri Kurri, NSW, 2327, Australia Phone: 611300304794 Web Address: www.huntervalleyhub.com.au

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