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On the move...

With the inflow of water this season, more visitors are being recorded across the shire. Numbers will only increase as a number of events are run through the warmer months and travellers hit the road again.

In the last Biz West newsletter, we discussed what it looks like to provide good customer service. This week, Visit Victoria released results from an independent survey of tourists to Victoria, stating customers have been 'considerably underwhelmed' with their visitor experience across the state.

West Wimmera Shire Council recognises that tourism and events as an industry, is a key driver to diversifying and strengthening the local economy. The shire has potential to attract many more visitors than what it currently does, both through nature-based tourism and targeted events. This will only be possible with the support of local businesses. It is important to remember that visitors return to places where they have had a positive experience and created happy memories.

As the farmers say, we need to make hay while the sun shines. So council encourages you to take a step back from your business and think about what you could do to improve the experience of your customers and visitors to the region. Try asking your customers to fill out a short survey. Or choose one or two areas to focus on and ask your customers for comments. For example, do your opening hours meet their needs or have you got the type of products they are actually wanting to purchase.

As always, council welcomes your feedback on how we can improve our support to you as small business owners and operators. There are many ways in which we can offer assistance to you and your business. We hope all of our local businesses are starting to see an increase in activity, which will continue well in to the new year.

2016 Wimmera Business Awards
This Friday, 14 October, Wimmera Development Association will host the 2016 Wimmera Business Awards Gala Presentation.
Two businesses from West Wimmera are finalists and in the running to receive awards. Well done to The Border Inn and Amber Ridge (Apsley) for making it to the finals of these awards. The awards are an opportunity for the individual businesses to be recognised for their quality offering, as well as great promotion for the businesses and the West Wimmera. The Wimmera Business Awards are run every two years and businesses can nominate themselves. Find out more by visiting the Wimmera Development Association website.

We wish these businesses good luck for the awards! 

GrowNotes Alert - Grains and Research Development Corporation

GrowNotes Alert is a free nation-wide system for delivering urgent, actionable and economically important issues to you, the grower, adviser and industry body, the way you want. Real-time information from experts across Australia, to help growers increase profitability.

A GrowNotes Alert can be delivered via App, SMS, voice, email, social media or web portal (or a combination of preferred methods). The urgency with which they are delivered can help reduce the impact of weed, pest and disease costs.  GrowNotes Alert improves the relevance, reliability, speed and coverage of notifications on the incidence, prevalence and distribution of weed, pest and diseases.

GrowNotes Alert is being introduced now as a pilot to get users familiar with the tools available and to set up personalised parameters early, ensuring you have time to get used to alert delivery and to make sure you lock in the best and most accurate settings for your locations and crops. The full system is planned for launch in mid-2016.

By signing up now, some early birds will get the opportunity to take part in our pilot testing phase, if they so desire. Early subscribers will see the benefits and be able to recommend the system to their family, friends and colleagues so that everyone can save on the crucial things – time and money!

Best of all it’s free to sign up and can only make life easier. Visit the GRDC website to find out more and subscribe.

Farm Cooperatives and Collaboration Pilot Project

Agricultural policy in Australia has evolved to be increasingly focused on competition and deregulation resulting in a farming environment that encourages highly efficient, skilled and advanced farmers and farming practices.

At the same time there has been an increase of scale and purchasing power of major retailers and processors. For farmers, this has resulted in negative pressures from the power that has come from these ‘super purchasers’. The result for many farmers,  has seen them become price takers, not price makers, agreeing to business terms that negatively impact their viability. It has also raised concerns that smaller farmers are at a commercial disadvantage due to their lack of market bargaining power.

Whilst the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission emphasises the importance of farmers supplying competitive markets, it also recognises a range of options need to be available to farmers to reduce their vulnerability to supply chain imbalances, market price pressures and conditions set by major retailers. Australian farmers must become savvy and innovative business managers to remain profitable and viable in the current market environment. To provide farmers with knowledge, skills and materials on co-operatives, collective bargaining and other forms of collaboration, the Government has invested $14,934,000 into the two year ‘Farm Co-operatives and Collaboration Pilot Program’.

Visit the Farming Together website to find out more information and how you can get involved.

West Wimmera Shire | 17-19 October 2016
Monday 17 October
Serviceton Recreation Reserve | 8.30 am - 11.30 am
Kaniva LINK Neighbourhood House | 1.00 pm - 5.00 pm

Tuesday 18 October
Kaniva LINK Neighbourhood House | 8.30 am - 11.30 am
Goroke Library | 2.00 pm - 5.00 pm

Wednesday 19 October 
Harrow Hall | 8.30 am - 11.30 am 
Have a squiz at some more biz...
Mental Health Week

Did you know that at any given time, 1 in 5 employees are likely to be experiencing a mental health condition?

Mental Health Week runs 9 - 15 October and it is a great time to show your support for mental health and well-being in your workplace.

Get tips on supporting others in the workplace on the Heads up website and visit Business.gov to find out how you can get involved.
Business opportunity - new accommodation

Are you looking for an alternate source of income? Would you like to run your own business?

Numerous opportunities exist across West Wimmera for investment in tourism offerings, particularly for accommodation providers. There are many innovative examples of how you could set up your own eco-friendly accommodation service with minimal output. Check out these examples:
-Eco Structures        -Shacky
Building Resilience in Farming E-newsletter

The Building Resilience in Farming electronic newsletter is compiled and published by the Wimmera Development Association.

The newsletters is a comprehensive collection of events, news and up-to-date information on what is happening around the region. 

The newsletter is free and anyone can sign up to receive it.

Visit the WDA website to subscribe to the monthly update.

Australian Taxation Office Webinars

Webinars are interactive online seminars, presented by experienced tax officers to help you learn more about your tax and super responsibilities.

They are an efficient way of gaining valuable information to assist you in your business.

The ATO provide a range of different topics, relevant to managing your business.

Visit The ATO website to find out more and to register for a webinar.
Caretaker Certified Publication. David Leahy, CEO West Wimmera Shire Council
Copyright © 2016 West Wimmera Shire Council, All rights reserved.

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