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Australian SMEs to benefit from new tourism initiative

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) working in the tourism sector in Northern Australia are set to benefit from a $13.6 million (£7 million) government initiative to help these businesses improve and grow.

The companies will have access to advisers and facilitators who will be working closely with them and who will be on hand to put their businesses on an upwards trajectory, reports Smart Company.

This initiative forms part of the government's response to a white paper it wrote about developing Northern Australia.

Entitled Our North, Our Future, the white paper detailed ways in which the government could help small businesses in the tourism sector to improve the industry overall.

The initiative also combines the government's entrepreneur's scheme with the Australian Small Business Advisory Services (ASBAS) programme.

Small business minister Kelly O'Dwyer gave a statement, which said that five expert advisers would be bringing tools and advice to tourism SMEs that face challenges in the north of Australia.

Those that will be eligible to learn from this knowledge will be businesses that are already established in Northern Australia and have a turnover of $750,000 or more.

When the SMEs have been selected, the government will give access to these five experts from the middle of this year.

Across the country there are currently two million small businesses that contribute $340 billion to the economy, and 100,000 of these companies are in Northern Australia.

Ms O'Dwyer commented: "This initiative will support small tourism businesses to lead the economic charge in Northern Australia."

According to the government, not-for-profit small business advisory services will be able to apply for funding through the ASBAS programme, in order to give advice to SMEs in the north of the country.

Peter Strong, Small Business Council of Australia chief executive spoke highly of this government initiative to help SMEs.

He added: "When you look at smaller hotels and accommodation, the people [who] provide the tours, the people [who] run the tourism destinations, a lot of the businesses are small and medium, so it's a really good thing."

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