Small Business Friendly Program

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Bundaberg Regional Council has joined the Queensland Small Business Program.

Small businesses are at the heart of the Bundaberg Region economy and community. They create jobs, grow local economies and provide essential goods and services.

Council already runs a number of programs to support small businesses - Bundaberg Jobs Commitment, Bundaberg Region ECO Certification and regulatory and compliance support services - but we would like to do more.

As part of the Small Business Friendly Program, Council will commit to the following:

  • We agree to be small business friendly
  • We will actively communicate and engage with small businesses.
  • We will raise the profile and capability of small businesses.
  • We will promote and showcase small businesses.
  • We will develop and promote place-based programs for small businesses.
  • 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 performances.

Small Business Friendly Program is a Queensland Small Business Commissioner program.


Small Business Survey

Bundaberg Regional Council is surveying small businesses in the Bundaberg region as part of our Small Business Friendly Council Program.

Please note: the survey should take around 3 minutes to complete (depending on complexity of your answers).



Bundaberg Regional Council has joined the Queensland Small Business Program.

Small businesses are at the heart of the Bundaberg Region economy and community. They create jobs, grow local economies and provide essential goods and services.

Council already runs a number of programs to support small businesses - Bundaberg Jobs Commitment, Bundaberg Region ECO Certification and regulatory and compliance support services - but we would like to do more.

As part of the Small Business Friendly Program, Council will commit to the following:

  • We agree to be small business friendly
  • We will actively communicate and engage with small businesses.
  • We will raise the profile and capability of small businesses.
  • We will promote and showcase small businesses.
  • We will develop and promote place-based programs for small businesses.
  • 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 performances.

Small Business Friendly Program is a Queensland Small Business Commissioner program.


Small Business Survey

Bundaberg Regional Council is surveying small businesses in the Bundaberg region as part of our Small Business Friendly Council Program.

Please note: the survey should take around 3 minutes to complete (depending on complexity of your answers).



  • Free forum to help business navigate AI

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    Bundaberg Region businesses looking to capitalise on the advantages of artificial intelligence (AI) are invited to hear from an expert in the industry at Council’s February Business Breakfast on Tuesday 13 February.

    Business Breakfast attendees will hear from Small Business Commissioner Dominique Lamb on what her team does to champion small business in Queensland, and University of Queensland Professor of Artificial Intelligence Tim Miller on how AI can work for small business.

    After the breakfast, Tim will also conduct a free forum, ‘Navigating the AI Landscape for Business Success’.

    Tim said both of the AI sessions were suitable for a general audience, along with anyone already using or looking to use AI in their business.

    “The presentation will give an overview of artificial intelligence, what it really means, and a high-level overview of opportunities and risks for using it,” he said.

    Tim said the presentation would answer the questions such as:

    • What is artificial intelligence really?
    • How does it work?
    • What can artificial intelligence do and not do?
    • What opportunities and risks are there for using it?

    Following the business breakfast, which is a paid event, Tim will host a free forum for the business community that will focus on getting started using artificial intelligence in business.

    “We will discuss what businesses in/around Bundaberg are currently doing in this area, what opportunities they see, where they want to be, what barriers they face getting there, and what the University of Queensland and the local business community can do to help overcome these barriers,” Tim said.

    “At the end of the session, we aim to get those interested in using artificial more in their business to a point where they can participate in an activity with us to draw out a roadmap for AI implementation in their organisation.”

    Interested parties can attend either the Business Breakfast or the forum, or both, with no prior knowledge in artificial intelligence required.

    Tim said artificial intelligence could help businesses in many ways, including data-driven decision making, customer engagement, semi-automating mundane tasks, and to access new markets.

    “Thoughtfully embracing AI can be a competitive edge for a business, by helping get things done more quickly and more effectively,” he said.

    “But it is not a silver bullet – successful use of AI requires an AI strategy that aligns well with business goals, and to prioritise areas where it can bring value.”

    February Business Breakfast

    When: Tuesday 13 February, 7 – 9 am

    Where: Bundaberg Multiplex

    Cost: $30

    Book tickets here.

    Navigating the AI Landscape for Business Success Forum

    When: Tuesday 13 February, 9 am

    Where: Bundaberg Multiplex

    Cost: Free

    RSVP required here.

    Read the full Bundaberg Now story here.

  • Breakfast to celebrate Small Business program

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    Small business owners across the Bundaberg Region are encouraged to attend the next Bundaberg Business Breakfast event on Tuesday 13 February, celebrating Bundaberg Regional Council’s first anniversary of participation in the Small Business Friendly program.

    Event attendees will hear from Small Business Commissioner Dominique Lamb on what her team does to champion small business in Queensland, and from Professor Tim Miller from the University of Queensland on how AI can work for small business.

    Council signed the Small Business Friendly Charter in January 2023, joining over 40 other councils across Queensland in a commitment to enhance the operating environment for small businesses and provide the opportunities they need to thrive.

    As part of the initiative, Council ran business breakfast events throughout 2023 to provide a platform for the region’s business community to network, collaborate and learn from experts across a range of industries.

    Small Business Commissioner Dominique Lamb said the events gave Council an opportunity to gain key learnings that could be shared with the wider community and other Small Business Friendly members.

    “It is wonderful to see a strong representation by small business operators at the monthly ‘Bundaberg Business Breakfast’ events,” she said.

    “I urge any person with an interest in the local community whether this be a small business operator/owner, or those with commercial tenancy interests to attend.”

    Commissioner Lamb said her presentation would highlight the Commission’s work providing alternate dispute resolution services, and their advocacy for small business at local, state, and federal government levels.

    “I will give the attendees a snapshot of what we see economically when it comes to small business across the state,” she said.

    “I will also outline what support we can provide to small businesses and what we do on a strategy and engagement level to champion small business in Queensland.”

    In late 2023, the Office of the Small Business Commissioner launched a refreshed Small Business Industry Roundtable, a new Regional Roundtable, and a new Landlord Roundtable.

    “These groups have been incredibly generous with their time and their insights, which inform our strategy, engagement, and assistance work,” Commissioner Lamb said.

    “We will be able to share some of these insights with the attendees.”

    February Business Breakfast

    When: Tuesday 13 February at 7 am

    Where: Bundaberg Multiplex

    Cost: $30

    Book tickets here.

    Small Business Friendly program progress

    In the first year of participation in the Small Business Friendly program, Council have introduced and endorsed a number of initiatives to engage and support small business in the region including an online survey to help develop a Small Business Friendly Action Plan.

    Highlights from the year include:

    Created a “one stop shop” web page, where small businesses can find hints, tips and free resources to help run their businesses.

    Development of “Doing Business with Council” webpage and coordinated workshops throughout the year.

    Monthly meetings with region’s Chambers of Commerce and Business Women’s Network.

    Lead a working group to deliver Small Business Month activities and created an event calendar for all stakeholders to share.

    Commissioner Lamb said she encouraged Council to continue to be mindful of small businesses issues and priorities when making decisions for the community.

    “You need to consider small businesses when you make key decisions that impact them, such as purchasing and payment practices, tender processes and legislative or policy decisions,” she said.

    “It is imperative that Council work closely with the Chambers of Commerce and other small business organisations to right size this journey for the Bundaberg region.

    “The Promoting Sustainability Award is an excellent initiative created by the Bundaberg and District Chamber of Commerce celebrating businesses who can demonstrate the principles of ‘circular economy’ and who ‘produce locally’ an action that will improve outcomes for the environment and create a legacy for the community.

    “The celebration of small business should not be underestimated because they are largely underappreciated considering how much they contribute to community.”

    Read the full Bundaberg Now story here.

  • Business growth success in Bundaberg Region

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    Strong population growth and the growing need for services has supported new business growth in the Bundaberg Region.

    According to recent data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics Business Register (ABSR) the number of businesses in Bundaberg has jumped from 6,456 in June 2018 to 7,201 in June 2023.

    Of these businesses:

    – 55.4 percent recorded a turnover of up to $200,000

    – 41.2 percent recorded a turnover of between $200,000 to $5 million

    – 1.7 per cent recorded a turnover of $5 to $10 million.

    – 1.7 per cent recorded a turnover of $10 million or more.

    Not surprisingly, the influx of new registered businesses has aligned with strong population growth and the growing need to service the new households.

    Inward migration to Bundaberg from the Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast and Logan has been particularly strong as has migration from Western Sydney, Geelong and the Central Coast of New South Wales.

    Likewise, the Bundaberg Region is attracting a record number of skilled professionals keen to capitalise on the diverse employment and lifestyle options the region has to offer.

    In fact, the region recorded a 16 per cent increase in jobs growth for the five years to 2021.

    Reflective of these trends, Bundaberg is home to over 102,000 persons and is one of the fastest growing regions outside of South-East Queensland.

    Furthermore, Bundaberg’s economy was valued at $5.1 billion and recorded the second fastest economic growth rates in Queensland at 7.1 per cent.

    In fact, testament to the diversity, stability and resilience of the economy, Bundaberg was the third fastest regional economy in Australia to recover from COVID shutdowns.

    The Bundaberg Region is home to some of the most innovative businesses in Queensland servicing the professional services, health and aged care, retail, education, tourism, construction, agriculture, and manufacturing sectors.

    Additionally, Bundaberg has seen the emergence of new industry sectors such as Ag Tech, Renewable Energy and Biofutures which will provide businesses with the opportunity for diversification, growth and long-term sustainability.

    Bundaberg Region Council offers a range of services to support local businesses including:

    Additionally, Council’s Strategic Projects and Economic Development team can support businesses through a suite of services including:

    • Solution brokering – government introductions and navigation
    • Matchmaking – industry support and alignment with commercial opportunities
    • Business networking opportunities
    • Assistance and direction regarding Council infrastructure incentives and planning matters

    A good starting point for all new businesses in the region is the Invest Bundaberg website where information can be found on the latest economic and demographic statistics along with some of the major projects Council is developing which will help further cement the region as Australia’s best regional community.

    For further information on how Council can support your business please contact 1300 883 699.

    Read the full Bundaberg Now story here.

  • Plastic Free CQ comes to Bundaberg

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    We are excited to announce that Plastic Free CQ will be working with our local food retailers as they adapt to the single-use plastic free future.


    The Qld State Government introduced the first phase of its single-use plastic ban in 2021 as part of a national effort to combat plastic pollution, with more changes to come. Plastic Free CQ will be assisting Bundaberg businesses as part of their transition, with funding provided by the Queensland State Government.


    Food retailers, like cafes, bars, restaurants, kiosks & vans are eligible for the program. The focus is on single-use plastic takeaway items that retailers can find hard to eliminate, such as straws, coffee cups and takeaway containers.


    Globally the packaging industry is changing very fast, and it is hard for businesses to keep up and identify products that suit their needs. At the same time, more and more locals are actively looking for plastic-free takeaway options. So we’re thrilled our businesses will be able to receive free on ground support and expert advice with Plastic Free CQ.


    If you, or anyone you know, own a food or beverage related business within the Bundaberg region, you can join at www.plasticfreeplaces.org/cq-join


    Please feel free to contact Kate Giles, Tourism Sustainability Officer at Bundaberg Regional Council for further information at kate.giles@bundaberg.qld.gov.au.

Page last updated: 13 Jun 2024, 02:56 PM