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Australian Small Business Advisory Services helps small Australian businesses go digital

An announcement by the Australian Government highlighted its initiative to help small Australian businesses expand by going digital.

An A$18 million funding for an Australia-wide program to help family and small businesses build their digital capability will be allocated according to the Australian Government.

Minister for Small and Family Business, the Workplace and Deregulation, Mr Craig Laundy said that this would provide businesses with access to high-quality advice from proven providers for a minimal fee.

He added, “The Australian Government is investing in small businesses to help them create jobs, harness opportunities and grow in the digital economy, with a major focus on regional areas.”

“Research shows small businesses that are digitally engaged are more likely to grow their revenue and up to eight times more likely to create new jobs,” he explained.

Minister Laundy said the funding was being provided through the Australian Small Business Advisory Services (ASBAS) , which is a long running program being re-booted to focus on building digital capabilities.

ASBAS is a business advisory service provider that delivers low cost, high quality, digital advisory services to Australian small businesses in the metropolitan and regional areas.

Advisory services will include assessment of small businesses’ needs, tailored digital engagement plans, and support in relation to one or more of the priority digital capabilities including websites and selling online, social media and digital marketing, using small business software, and online security and data privacy.

Mr Laundy explained, “We know small business operators are busy people who sometimes struggle to adopt new technology. We also know how critical it is for them to keep up with technological change. That is why we have refocused ASBAS support away from general business advisory services to target digital capabilities.”

He added, “Our Small Business Digital Taskforce found only one in five small businesses has a digital business strategy. That is why we are giving them the skills and confidence they need to embrace digital opportunities.”

He furthered, “ASBAS Digital Solutions will fill a gap by offering small businesses low-cost and easy to understand advice on a range of digital solutions to meet their business needs."

Minister Laundy said three major providers would share a total of $18.02m in this round. They are Penrith City and District Business Advisory Centre Limited (NSW/ACT), Business Station Incorporated (QLD/NT/WA), and Darebin Enterprise Centre Limited (SA/VIC/TAS).

They will work with smaller providers where necessary to deliver services to business in every state and territory. Services will be delivered in ways to suit each business, including one-on-one direct support, remotely online, or by phone, as well as interactive webinars and workshops.

“We will closely monitor ASBAS to make sure it continues to deliver what Australian small businesses need. Success will be measured by the number of small businesses that feel more confident to adopt digital technologies and services. I’ll know the program is providing good value for money if small business owners are recommending the service to others,” Minister Laundy said.

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