Running a small business can be tough, but they are the lifeblood of our community. West End business owner Kaz Kelly recently established a support group for businesses in 4101. She tells us why here.

After starting Doggy Day Care Brisbane 5.5 years ago here in West End, I realised that trying to find support as a business owner is hard! It is time-consuming, can be demoralising and, at times, stressful. 

I would like to see more business focus from our elected officials.

The range of issues businesses face is lengthy, let alone the problems faced by business owners. Issues can sometimes overlap but sometimes require different solutions and approaches. Over the past few years, there were the effects COVID had on businesses and their owners, which was a particularly stressful time. When you add in floods, rising wages and superannuation, costs of goods, landlord disputes, and lack of trained staff due to closed borders, we are starting a mighty fine stress list!

So, where do we go for help? This is a great question and one I get asked often when visiting other businesses around 4101. Up until recently, I didn’t have a lot of answers. I had tried in vain to get help for many aspects of my business; in some areas, I just gave up. Trial and error was my best friend, and this put massive strain on an already stressed brain.

Multiple conversations with other business owners, my struggles, and finally finding the right people got me thinking….I am not the only one in this position. So, I did something about it! I started the Facebook group “Businesses of 4101″. We are dedicated to sharing resources, advice, tips and tricks, organising events that bring expert help to us, and celebrating wins. This group is for sole traders, franchisees, small biz owners, home-based businesses, bricks and mortar and everything in between! I wanted a safe place for business owners of all industries to share, reflect and seek help. Better one of us sharing the answer than fifty of us Googling the same question!

Small Business Commissioner, Dominique Lamb

We held our first event on Wednesday, 28 June, three weeks after launching the group. We met at VentSpace (a member of our group) and invited the Small Business Commissioner, Dominique Lamb, to come and speak with us about her role and the role of her office. I tell you what, there were so many great resources that none of us previously knew about. Grant info, free financial advice services, business mentors, access to mediators for any disputes and the list goes on. One of our members spoke about issues retaining staff, another on the lack of competitive stock providers, and another on electricity costs. These questions were all met with clear advice, follow-up meetings and, in the case of the electricity, an investigation and rebate provided. Talk about an excellent outcome for our first event!

These events will continue, but our day-to-day goal is to connect. The feeling of isolation is real, especially if you are a home-based business or sole trader, so my goal is to make this group a first point of call for many. And to show business owners in 4101 that you are seen and supported.

If you are a business in 4101 and would like to join a community made for you. Please reach out. You don’t have to go it alone.