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One-stop-shop for small business

HOBART’S budding business owners tapped into a one-stop-shop of crucial services, tools and initiatives last month when the Australian Government’s Small Business Fair came to town.

Hosted by the Department of Jobs and Small Business, the national Small Business Fair events are aimed at both those keen to start a small business and those hoping to expand their existing one, like Wild Pepper Isle owner Corinne Ooms.

Ms Ooms and her partner Chris Chapman produce a popular organic range of native bush food products made from Tasmanian mountain pepper and other local spices.

They are in the process of restoring an old orchard on a Montrose property once owned by bushranger Martin Cash.

The award-winning Wild Pepper Isle range is proving hugely successful, even though Ms Ooms admits the couple are “winging it”.

“We’re doing very well, growing quickly … and we don’t have a clue how to run a business,” she said.

“My background is in food science and Chris’ background is in agriculture, so we don’t have any experience running a business.

“You don’t know what you don’t know.

“When you start a small business it’s all about the idea and the creativity, and the bookkeeping and insurance and admin side of things is often neglected.

“The Small Business Fair is great.

“I’ve booked a few appointments with people who will help me with laying the foundations for a solid business.”

Attendees at the Hobart event could speak directly with Government agencies and receive practical advice about a range of issues including using digital marketing and e-commerce, simplifying tax, accessing subsidies and securing Government contracts.

They were able to benefit from hands-on digital coaching and a series of live demonstrations, and hear from keynote speakers including New Perspectives business coach and mentor Roland Hanekroot, who talked about the importance of wellbeing in small business.

For more information, visit www.jobs.gov.au.

Caption: Wild Pepper Isle owner Corinne Ooms, business coach Roland Hanekroot and Desiree Caira from the Small Business Fair team.

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About the Author: Hobart Observer

The Hobart Observer is your monthly community newspaper, reaching over 24,000 homes and businesses in and around the City of Hobart. It is the product of Nicolas Turner, Justine Brazil, Ben Hope, Simon Andrews, Tobias Hinds and guest contributors, with support from advertisers.

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