Some of the participants at Tuesday night’s KCCI “virtual” meet’n’greet

June 24, 2020

The Federal Government’s Business LEAP Program – which aims to foster entrepreneurship in the Wide Bay area – was the focus of attention at this week’s Kingaroy Chamber of Commerce and Industry meet’n’greet.

For the second month in a row, the regular get-together for local businesspeople was held “virtually” on Zoom.

Guest speaker was business mentor Jason Virtue, from Business LEAP in Gympie.

Jason offers free business mentoring and training in the South Burnett, Cherbourg, Gympie – and a slice of the North Burnett – council areas.

“We sit down with you at your kitchen table or your office desk and have a chat about what’s going on in your business – what’s working, what isn’t working, what’s filling you full of joy, what makes you want to pull a doona over your head – and see what we can do about it together,” Jason said.

And if the LEAP program advisers can’t help, Jason said they would always try to find someone who can.

“The beautiful thing about the South Burnett is that there are a helluva lot of really good quality providers out there. The more that we can work together to deliver outcomes, the happier I’m going to be,” he said.

“There’s some wonderful business opportunities in the South and North Burnett.

“A lot of people love the fact that we do one-on-one meetings in a private setting where we can have a really honest discussion about what’s going on in your business.”

He said the program was about helping business owners develop solutions.

Two weeks ago, Jason and the other LEAP program mentors were given the green light by the Federal Government to start travelling out again to talk to businesses face-to-face.

“The focus of the program back in 2019 was for those people who wanted to start a new business. We are still focussing on that but considering the challenges that we’ve had in the last four months, they have allowed us to expand,” he said.

The mentors can now lend a hand to existing businesses that aren’t “tracking all that well”, Jason said.

“If you’ve got an existing business that you want to pivot, or twist it a bit or take on a new product line, we’re happy to have a chat about that,” he said.

Jason said that regardless of whether the economy now got better, worse or stayed the same, businesses needed a plan to get out on the other side of the pandemic better than they went into it.

“You don’t need a 100-page business plan,” he said.

“But you do need to have an idea of where you are going, what you want to achieve, what your exit plans for the business are, what products you want to produce, what markets you want to be in, who you want to be in business with and who you don’t want to be in business with.

“That’s all stuff that can be itemised in a very slim yet powerful document.”

Jason can be contacted by email or by phoning 0477-772-195.

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