Big things for small business

GIPPSLAND is hosting its inaugural small business festival with 17 events in the region’s six council areas and around 340 events across Victoria.

During the month of August or ‘Small Business Month’, the Gippsland Small Business Festival will offer events and workshops to bolster entrepreneurial thinking and small businesses such as business development, business planning, green and online business models, starting a business and training and skills development.

The festival will hold events in Heyfield, Traralgon, Warragul, Leongatha, Wonthaggi, Moe, Bairnsdale, Inverloch and Lucknow, and boasts a ‘Creativity for Business Success’ session with Australian musician and TV show ‘Offspring’ actor, Clare Bowditch in Sale.

Minister for Small Business Minister Russell Northe said he was thrilled Gippsland was the regional host for the first time and had been working with local councils and chambers of commerce to ensure delivered programs were relevant to local communities.

“We also host them at times where business people can attend, making sure they are relevant,” Mr Northe said.

He said small businesses employ more than 1.2 million people and deliver products and services that make up a third of the state’s output.

“Small businesses play a significant role in growing regional Victoria’s economy,” Mr Northe said.

“They form the commercial and cultural backbone of many rural communities, with 28 per cent of all small businesses based in regional areas.”

Latrobe City mayor Sharon Gibson said the festival was a locally organised event to complement the state-wide Small Business Month.

“It’s a great way to showcase the diversity of our local commerce and smaller organisations,” Councillor Gibson said.

“Events like these also encourage networking and sharing knowledge among local businesses, as well as reminding the community to think local when it comes to shopping or services.”

For more information on the festival, phone the Business Development Unit at Latrobe City Council on 1300 367 700, email or visit