Small business support for those affected by COVID-19 restrictions

DROPPING IN: Member for Bathurst Paul Toole at the Millthorpe Providore where Daniel Hewitt serves up a great cup of coffee. Small businesses affected by the current COVID-19 lockdown and restrictions are encouraged to seek free-of-charge advice from the NSW Governments business advisory service Business Connect.

DROPPING IN: Member for Bathurst Paul Toole at the Millthorpe Providore where Daniel Hewitt serves up a great cup of coffee. Small businesses affected by the current COVID-19 lockdown and restrictions are encouraged to seek free-of-charge advice from the NSW Governments business advisory service Business Connect.

Central West stay-at-home orders lifted

Great to see the stay-at-home orders for the Orange City Council, Blayney Shire Council, and Cabonne Shire Council areas lifted this week.

Orange City Council, Blayney Shire Council, and Cabonne Shire Council have reverted to the same restrictions as the rest of regional NSW.

I want to thank people in these local communities for their co-operation and patience during the stay-at-home restrictions for the past week which I know were frustrating and difficult at times.

Business Connect here to help

Small businesses affected by the current COVID-19 lockdown and restrictions are encouraged to seek free-of-charge advice from the NSW Government's business advisory service Business Connect.

Business Connect has advisors across the state who are ready to help businesses navigate the current situation.

We know many small businesses across NSW area are doing it tough at the moment.

While some businesses have had to shut their doors to comply with the Public Health Orders, others are experiencing reduced foot traffic and challenges with cashflow, paying rent and wages.

However, Government support is available, including Business Connect. All of the advisors have previously owned small businesses and they can advise business owners on ways to make it through this health pandemic and plan for the future.

There are new webinar topics addressing issues being faced by business owners during this difficult period, including dealing with disputes, starting your own online store, cash flow essentials and building a more resilient business.

The webinars are a great way for all small business owners to upskill and learn from experts, with other key day-to-day topics, from cyber security to social media marketing.

In addition to helping small businesses, Business Connect can also assist medium enterprises and in some circumstances, social enterprises and not-for-profit organisations, if eligible.

For more on Business Connect visit www.nsw.gov.au/businessconnect.

For more information on the support measures for businesses visit www.service.nsw.gov.au/campaign/covid-19-help-businesses.

Local schools help power NSW

Great to see three public schools in the Bathurst Electorate selected to take part in an innovative new pilot program to explore the potential for schools to use solar panels and batteries to generate electricity for themselves, and create enough to supply electricity to the state's energy grid.

Lyndhurst Public, Mandurama Public and Black Springs Public will be among the 25 schools included in the program.

The pilot project aims to assess the benefits and costs of the large-scale implementation of solar PV systems and batteries, together with other initiatives that can reduce demand on the energy network.

In NSW, we have 2,200 public schools and by producing solar energy, schools will benefit from lower energy bills, and batteries will store any excess solar energy for later use or it can be sold to the energy grid.