Pilot program a success with second round now open

Published: 18 Feb 2022

Ten local businesses have sharpened the tools in their “business toolkit” thanks to a tailored one-on-one mentoring program delivered by council.

Pilot program participant Mary-Ann Refalo from family owned and operated Walkerston-based business Retrospect Life said the program was a good opportunity to learn new things.

“With our current business we specialise in and sell homemade jams, chutneys, relishes and sauces – however, my husband and I are considering agritourism and wanted to better prepare ourselves should we head down that track,” Mrs Refalo said.

“The program is easy-to-follow, and I have walked away with a deeper understanding on a range of topics including knowing your customer and pricing strategies,” she said.

Mayor Greg Williamson said now that the pilot program was complete, another round had been opened today, offering the opportunity to 10 additional businesses.

“Existing businesses, as well as start-ups with a business idea that supports the Pioneer Valley Mountain Bike Trails, are eligible and encouraged to apply,” Mayor Williamson said.

“Council is investing in the program as part of our ongoing commitment to growing the visitor economy and ensuring the Mackay region continues to grow as a highly-regarded leisure destination,” he said.

“We want the Mackay region to be front of mind for travellers seeking nature experiences and we want to offer a high standard of experiences for them to enjoy while visiting.”

The fully subsidised mentoring program provides participants with a detailed business assessment, five one-on-one mentoring sessions, practical workshop style webinars and much more.

To find out more or to apply today, visit mackay.qld.gov.au/businessmentoring. Applications close Friday, March 4 at 5pm.

Make sure to register for the Information Briefing Webinar on Wednesday, February 23 to get an overview of the program, the EOI process and to hear first-hand from mentees that were part of the pilot program last year. To register, visit bit.ly/sbmpwebinar.

The Small Business Mentoring Program is designed and facilitated by independent mentors, business and tourism experts, Sparrowly Group on behalf of Mackay Regional Council.