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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 5 Hansard (3 May) . . Page.. 1536..


Canberra Business Advisory Service -The Canberra Business Advisory Service (CBAS) commenced operations in January 2001 following a review of the former Links-to-Business and Business Mentoring services. Funded by the ACT Government and with sponsorship support from Asia On-line, CBAS offers a range of services to ACT home based a small businesses, including:

> Business advice and facilitation;

> Networking through planned events and referrals;

> Business seminars and workshops;

> Flexible business mentoring programs;

> Business development programs;

> Directions to access additional business services, training providers and Government programs; and

> Support of indigenous business intenders and operators providing facilitation, guidance and mentoring.

In the first three months of operation, CBAS has had almost 500 client contacts. The service provider has indicated that the vast majority of contacts are sourced from start-up, micro and small businesses. CBAS also regularly attends meetings of the Home Based Business Association.

ACT Business Gateway- The ACT Business Gateway is the primary entry point through which home-based and small businesses car, access comprehensive Government business information services, such as the Business Licence Information Service (BLIS), and a range of Government business support services. Offering on-line and telephone access, Business Gateway is an ideal way for home-based and small business operators to access Government services without leaving their workplace.

Recent enhancements to the Business Gateway site have further improved the support that is offered to small business. These include:

> Redevelopment of the site so that it has a more modern look and feel and a format that showcases regular updates of business news and information.

> A new navigation button labelled Small Business Advice that will link directly to the Canberra Business Advisory Service web site.

> Improved business to government interaction by enabling:

* online EFT and Direct Debit payments for many transactions;

* form prefilling using stored data;

> "Link and return" functionality that allows businesses to complete online transactions with all ACT agencies in a seamless manner.

> Changes to Business Licence Information (BLIS) Packs, including.

* Re-ordering of the information in the packs to more clearly follow the sequencing of the questions asked to generate the pack.

* A generic checklist as a guide to working through the information provided in the packs.

* an emphasis on the need to check on lease compliance and to contact some agencies in particular circumstances, eg PALM when any alterations to a building are made.


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