New program benefits owners

LOCAL small businesses could soon be set to grow, courtesy of the Stretton Centre’s new co-worker program.

The initiative, based out of the Munno Para facility, is designed to help small businesses grow through offering specialised advice and services, which are delivered within a focused ‘co-worker’ office space.

Hewett-based business Johnson Plumbing & Gas was among four successful applicants who secured a space at the centre.

Owner Ben Johnson said the opportunity is a way to strengthen and grow his business moving forward.

“I’m just hoping to take my business to the next level,” Mr Johnson said.

“The networking that you get from being in the Stretton Centre with the other trades (is excellent).

“There is a graphic designer, a website designer; you have just got everything at your fingertips.

“I have been working from home for the past 12 months, so to be able to get away from the home environment, and really get stuck into it, will be good.”

Member for Light Tony Piccolo worked alongside the Gawler Business Development Group, Business SA and the Stretton Centre to financially support the program, and get it off the ground.

Mr Piccolo said the initiative is designed to promote economic activity and offer more job opportunities.

“By fostering these small businesses, the aim is help them grow and employ additional people,” he said.

“The ultimate goal is to see these grow to such a point where they establish their own commercial premises in the area, and new small businesses take their co-worker spaces.”

Mr Johnson said the program will give his business a strategic direction, and allow a greater
chance of successfully creating employment for others.

“I am a one-man show at the moment, which is fine, it is quite sustainable, but I would like to expand on that and provide the local community with jobs in the trade services,” he said.

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Growing up in Roseworthy and attending Kapunda High School, Laura joins The Bunyip in June, 2016 whilst completing the final year of a double degree in Journalism and International Relations at University of SA. This is Laura's first role as a Journalist following a stint at Gawler Council in the Communications Department. She will cover the news in the Playford and Mallala council regions. Outside of work, Laura enjoys anything health and well-being related, and can be regularly seen shopping for fresh, healthy produce at local markets.

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