Mentoring program sets Pioneer Valley business on the right path

Published: 14 Sep 2022

Things are buzzing in the Pioneer Valley, especially for local business CannonBee.

The family-owned and Eungella-based business uses natural beekeeping practises to produce raw honey and beeswax products, including Eungella Raw Rainforest Honey and Propolis and Raw Honey Face Polish.

Business owner Janine Cannon recently participated in the second round of council’s one-on-one tailored mentoring program for small business owners.

Mrs Cannon said the program offered a fantastic opportunity to learn how to leverage off the growing tourism market in the Pioneer Valley.

“We are mostly a product-based business, so it has been wonderful to get some expert advice on how we can move into more education focussed aspects such as hosting tours and workshops on beekeeping,” Mrs Cannon said.

“The flexibility of the program - to do it via Zoom - as well as its structured delivery, made it very worthwhile,” she said.

“My mentor was able to provide real-world information such as resources and tools for tourism businesses and databases we can access which will be directly applicable to expanding our business

“With this we will be able to take advantage of the increase in visitor numbers generated by the new Mountain Bike Trails.”

Mayor Greg Williamson said this current round of the program had been aimed at existing businesses, as well as start-ups with a business idea that supported the Pioneer Valley Mountain Bike Trails.

“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,” Mayor Williamson 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,” he said.

Council offers a free five-part webinar series focussed on business development for businesses in the Pioneer Valley. They are available on the council’s website.

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