Facebook's regional business roadshow comes to the Mountains

Facebook's regional roadshow recently kicked off for 2021 with its first event in the Mountains, on Tuesday May 18.

Blue Mountains MP Susan Templeman attended the free event and said she was "heartened by the number of local people who took time out of their busy days to come along and put it into building their skills at the Boost With Facebook program".

"The past 18 months have seen the people of the Blue Mountains and Hawkesbury endure bushfires, landslides, the pandemic and two floods. It's meant businesses have had to pivot to adapt, and for many that has meant increasing their social media presence," Ms Templeman said.

(From left to right) Jasmine Workman, Alisha Elliott, Mia Garlick from Facebook, with Macquarie MP Susan Templeman and local business owners Muriel Wang from Kotes by Kobe and Harriet McCready from Mountain Culture Beer.

(From left to right) Jasmine Workman, Alisha Elliott, Mia Garlick from Facebook, with Macquarie MP Susan Templeman and local business owners Muriel Wang from Kotes by Kobe and Harriet McCready from Mountain Culture Beer.

"Our local business owners are weary of constantly being challenged, and that's why I was heartened by the number of local people.

"It was also great to see successful local business owners like Muriel [Wang] from Kotes By Kobe and Harriet [McCready] from Mountain Culture Beer Co sharing their experience with others who are just starting out; people like Emily [Mascord] from by Blue, who sells beautiful hampers featuring artisan products, and Jenny [Steadman], who runs stress reduction courses through her business, Open Wisdom."

The event was postponed from 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Ms Templeman said while it was "happening a year later than was planned" she thanked Facebook for "offering this service to areas like Blue Mountains and letting us be the global first to have access to face-to-face support".

The event was held at Fairmont Resort & Spa Blue Mountains.

Two Facebook community trainers shared tips, tools and resources to help small businesses boost their business by using platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Shops and Messenger.

Alisha Elliott, head of policy programs for Facebook Australia and New Zealand said: "The pandemic has shown how important digital skills are for small businesses. In fact according to the Deloitte Digital Tools in Crisis and Recovery SMB Report, from August 2020, 36 per cent of Australian SMBs [small and mid sized businesses] recently surveyed started using or increased their usage of social media platforms when making sales since the outbreak.

"We know Aussies businesses have had a challenging year but so we want to help them continue to grow, stay resilient and adapt over time."

Since 2018, the Boost with Facebook program has helped more than 25,000 Australian businesses learn digital skills to grow and participate in local and global economies, she said.

The sessions were brought by MTNS MADE, Blue Mountains Council and Boost with Facebook.