Small Business Friendly Brisbane initiative
Brisbane City Council is working hard to be the most small business friendly Council in Australia, and is dedicated to supporting the growth of the small business sector of Brisbane.
It is Brisbane businesses that create local employment, provide essential goods and services and play an important role in growing our diverse economy. We are committed to making it easier to do business in Brisbane and we will maintain the highest standards of service to make sure we are supporting small businesses.
Our Community Experience represents our vision for the way Brisbane businesses, residents, visitors and Council employees experience Council through our shared commitments to community, connection and care. In addition, our small business commitment is a public statement that expresses our intention to continuously improving the way we interact with and support small businesses.
We know if small business does well, then Brisbane does well. That’s why we have set out a clear list of commitments and outcomes to help Brisbane business get ahead.
Our small business commitment and our performance
- We will raise the profile and capability of small businesses.
- We will promote and showcase small businesses.
What we've done
Raise profile and capability
- We've hosted the Business in Brisbane Facebook group since 2020 to bring local business owners together to access information and support. The group has more than 4800 members as at June 2023.
- We launched the Brisbane app in 2021, with 317,796 downloads and 3795 businesses as at 30 June 2023.
- We've delivered 180 one-on-one mentoring sessions and 110 workshops at the Brisbane Business Hub and delivered 39 capacity-building training opportunities at the Suburban Business Hub.
- We've promoted precincts through the Growing Precincts Together program to raise the profile of individual businesses and the precincts as a whole.
- We've delivered the 17th Lord Mayor's Business Awards, with close to 300 nominations across 11 award categories, as well as hosting the Lord Mayor's Multicultural Business Dinner and Awards.
- We've delivered the Lord Mayor's Women in Business Grants and supported 106 local women business owners since 2021.
- We've delivered the Future Food, MedTech and Proptech initiatives to provide fit-for-purpose development opportunities to assist businesses to scale.
- We've provided Brisbetter Explore promotions to encourage residents to visit local businesses and buy local.
- We've provided training to 45 creators through the Maker Entrepreneurship program to help solo entrepreneurs take their businesses to the next level.
Promote and showcase
- We've included the Business Chamber Queensland Small Business Award in the Lord Mayor's Business Awards to recognise excellence in running a small business in Brisbane.
- We've provided regular email updates to chamber and trader groups and provided in-person networking opportunities.
- We've featured articles in the regular Business in Brisbane newsletter which also provides information on events, opportunities, business support, grants and more.
- We've posted about businesses participating in Council's programs in the Business in Brisbane Facebook group to raise their profile and expand their reach.
- We are active participants and members in a range of industry groups to gain increased awareness of sectors so we can promote and showcase their activities and members.
- We've delivered the Visit Brisbane and Choose Brisbane websites to promote Brisbane businesses nationally and internationally.
- We've displayed the wares of 24 Brisbane makers in the Local Business Showcase window of the Suburban Business Hub, resulting in sales and increased awareness for these businesses.
- We will actively communicate and engage with small businesses.
- We will develop and promote place-based programs for small businesses.
What we've done
Communicate and engage
- We established the Brisbane Business Hotline in 2012 to provide a dedicated 24/7 phone channel to support business in Brisbane.
- We hosted 11 Small Business Roundtable meetings which provided useful input and feedback to inform Council's programs.
- We've engaged with 1254 businesses at the Suburban Business Hub and delivered workshops to 3705 attendees through the Brisbane Business Hub.
- We've provided dedicated Council contacts and regular engagement resulting in stronger links with Brisbane's business networks.
- We've completed Village Precinct projects at Coorparoo, Camp Hill, Upper Mount Gravatt and Boondall to deliver public realm improvements in these local shopping precincts.
- We've piloted the Growing Precincts Together program in Racecourse Road and Rosalie as a place-based program for small business.
- We've facilitated 58 one-on-one training opportunities to small business owners in Rosalie Village and Racecourse Road.
- We will simplify administration and regulation for small business (red tape reduction).
- We will ensure fair procurement and prompt payment terms for small businesses.
- We will support small business resilience and recovery.
- We will measure and report on our performance.
What we've done
Simplify administration and regulation
- We've maintained a dedicated complaints page which outlines how to make a complaint and provides transparent information about how Council investigates complaints.
- We regularly conduct cross-Council policy updates to revise Council policy including local laws, planning and procurement policy.
- We've removed or reduced permit fees for events and festivals to encourage free and affordable fun through the streamlined Events Local Law 2022.
- We've maintained seven-day payment terms for small business suppliers to Council. Our faster payment terms have delivered more than 124,000 payments worth $1.33 billion for 3400 suppliers.
- More than 86% of Council's procurement spend was invested with local suppliers, exceeding the target of 80%.
- We've offered Talk to Procurement drop-in sessions at the Brisbane Business Hub and Suburban Business Hub.
- We've exceeded Council's annual target to spend more than $10 million directly with social enterprises.
- We facilitated the Better Brisbane Proposal process to provide a clear pathway for market-led proposals with six proposals trialled.
Resilience and recovery
- We published the Rebuild & Recover: Flood Resilience Action Plan which included key deliverables to support businesses and the economy.
- We have supported small business resilience and recovery through co-working opportunities and workshops at the Brisbane Business Hub and Suburban Business Hub.
- We offered the Flood Resilient Suburbs - Business Resilience program and delivered business flood continuity planning and business flood resilience assessments.
- We worked with partners to stand up temporary flood recovery hubs in key locations helping businesses get back 'on their feet'.
- We promoted 'Made in Brisbane' to call on Brisbane to help support Brisbane businesses and assist with their recovery by buying local.
- We delivered promotional campaigns to ensure that visitors, potential employees and businesses across Australia knew that Brisbane was back in business.
Measure and report
- We've established the Small Business Roundtable to identify opportunities and initiatives to drive growth and help local businesses thrive.
- We provided a dedicated Council contact to Brisbane's business networks and communicated regularly to achieve productive engagement.
To ensure Council is responsive to the needs of small business, Council established the Small Business Roundtable in 2021.
Convening monthly, the roundtable brings together Council officers, industry representatives and business leaders to tackle issues impacting small businesses in Brisbane. It provides insight and feedback to shape Council's support for small business, as well as helping Council identify opportunities and initiatives to help small business grow and succeed.
Small Business Friendly Program
The Queensland Government's Small Business Friendly Program aims to enhance the operating environment for small businesses and provide the opportunities they need to thrive.
Council's commitment to this program reinforces our longstanding dedication to making it easy to do business in Brisbane.
For more information on Council's small business friendly commitment, email Council.