ON Business Partner Program celebrates 1000 members
A unique and sector leading program established by the City of Onkaparinga to support the region’s economy has welcomed its 1000th local business member.
The ON Business Partner Program, one of the largest and most comprehensive of its kind in Australia, was established in 2017 to support local businesses of all sizes to thrive, grow and enjoy the benefits of collaboration.
Multiple Solutions – a Disability Employment Services provider that helps South Australians with injury, illness and disability to find meaningful long-term employment – became member #1000 when it joined the program in late July.
The organisation recently expanded its operations in the south, adding to its Noarlunga branch with a McLaren Vale office, which provides additional opportunities for people from the Vale, Willunga, Sellicks and surrounds to link with the service and employers in their community.
“It’s pretty cool,” says Luke Wagner, Multiple Solutions’ Regional Manager, Southern Adelaide, of the 1000th member milestone.
“The ON Business Partner Program has always been a brilliant way for us to look at what businesses are in the area when it comes to marketing our clients to employers.
“We’re always welcoming new clients to access our service too, so it made sense to be part of a network that we’d already seen value from.
“The more businesses that can connect, the more we can support the community to get back on its feet post COVID.
“For our part, we’re doing that by supporting businesses to have staff come back to work, and helping people experience that great feeling that comes from securing meaningful employment.”
The ON Business Partner Program has been doing its part to support local businesses through COVID in a number of ways, including council’s new Go South Go Local campaign and the introduction of COVID-specific business advisory sessions, which saw bookings rise by 875 per cent in March.
City of Onkaparinga Mayor Erin Thompson says what makes the ON Business Partner Program unique in Australia is not just its size, but its scope.
“There are other councils providing elements of our program, but what makes ON unique is the comprehensive level of support it can provide to all businesses in Onkaparinga,” Mayor Thompson says.
“This includes providing opportunities for businesses to promote themselves, facilitating business-to-business supply chains, facilitating connection with industry experts and collaborative partners, and using the business directory and education for local business to procure products and services to council.”
“In addition to our existing local businesses, we’re also making it easier for new businesses to establish themselves in Onkaparinga and providing them with comprehensive support from the moment they open their doors.
“We established this program three years before COVID-19 started impacting our lives, and now more than ever, it’s critically important to the survival, growth and prosperity of our local economy, and best of all, any business can join for free.”
Since the it’s inception in 2017, the ON Business Partner Program has also (to July 2020):
- Provided 705 one-on-one specialist business advisory sessions, presented by local business professionals so they money stays local
- Delivered 94 business-building Discovery Sessions to 1314 attendees (bringing together local businesses, state government, chambers of commerce and other experts), helping to encourage local B2B supply chains
- Awarded $292,000 in small businesses grants to 98 businesses, with the ON Grants program winning the 2019 National Economic Development Australia Award for economic development initiatives over 15,000 residents
- Helped establish dozens of foreshore and coastal activations, including 10 in summer 2019-20 (creating 160 seasonal jobs and attracting 47 per cent of visitors from outside the Onkaparinga region).
- Offered 33 pre-approved trading sites for mobile food vendors, expanding the business landscape in the region, increasing visitation and creating 15 jobs.
The ON Business team also works in conjunction with other council teams on investment attraction, recently working with companies including Datacom, TopCoat, AAA Asphalt, Isuzu and LeafCann to establish in Onkaparinga.
A Multiple Solutions client at work.