A new free Blue Mountains business directory, funded through bushfire resilience grants, will showcase the region's more than 5,500 businesses.
The BusinessBM.com.au business directory has been created as part of the more than $600,000 in bushfire grants funded to the Blue Mountains Business Community Resilience Project, which is focused on building resilient business communities across the 26 towns in the Mountains.
The project is a collaboration between corporate2community (C2C), a leader in business community disaster resilience, and BusinessBM, the region's new business network.
BusinessBM director and spokesman Lawrence Atkinson said the directory would help businesses connect with each other, and improve their visibility and accessibility with newer residents looking for key services.
"This project is very much about keeping Blue Mountains businesses in business," Mr Atkinson said.
"We want to build a strong and resilient local economy, and the best way we can do that is by coming together as a business community. By working with one another, we can thrive not just as individual businesses but also as a regional community."
Faulconbridge business owner Meagan Witton jumped at the chance to sign up to the new directory.
"We launched our business Miss Figgy Grazing Boards last October at the tail end of the last lot of lockdowns," Ms Witton said. "We've been creating grazing boards for our friends and family for the past few years. It was really a side hobby, and last year we decided to just go for it and launch our business. It has just taken off."
Ms Witton said the directory would prove popular with fellow business owners and operators who have struggled following the fires and during the pandemic.
"A local business directory makes it a lot easier for us to reach potential new customers and also connect with local suppliers," she said.
corporate2community Director Renae Hanvin said the directory is part of a raft of grant initiatives that underpins the project's aim to build disaster preparedness and resilience in the Blue Mountains.
"We know local businesses form the backbone of regional communities, and when they start working together and sharing their knowledge, a powerful shift occurs and everyone in the community benefits," Ms Hanvin said.
In addition to the directory, the BusinessBM.com.au website hasl links and resources for Mountains businesses covering resilience, mental health and wellbeing, and networking. It will help business owners establish their own local networks.
Meanwhile the state's peak business organisation, Business NSW believes a new hardship panel established by the NSW government to consider financial support for small businesses will be embraced by businesses across the state. The panel will look on a case by case basis at businesses that don't qualify for any of the current hardship packages being offered.
For information or to apply for a hardship grant - go to: https://www.service.nsw.gov.au/transaction/apply-covid-19-business-support-hardship-review