By Jackson Russell

THE Romsey Region Business and Tourism Association is one of four Macedon Ranges traders’ groups to share in $90,000 of State Government funding.

RRBATA will receive $10,000 from the Grants for Business Chambers and Trader Groups program to support business through the transition to COVID normal.

The program has provided $4.15 million through grants of $10,000, $20,000 or $50,000 to 182 business chambers across Victoria to support their business community’s recovery and restart.

Grant recipients can use the funding for business activation initiatives like facilitating members’ adaptation to COVID Normal, buy-local campaigns and improving access to programs and services focused on resilience and recovery.

RRBATA president Jenny Stillman said the purpose of the grants was to support organisations like RRBATA to, in turn, support local businesses.

“I really want to make sure this money has a direct, positive impact on our traders,” she said.

“We’re going to fine-tune how this money is spent and then we will communicate that directly with the State Government.”

Ms Stillman said smaller business associations could struggle for resources, but needed to be in the best position to advocate for businesses.

“There are certain things we could do better with our communications and I would like to think some of this funding could assist us with that,” she said.

“There are ways we can communicate better with our businesses and advocate for them. That’s something we can ensure some of these funds will assist us with.

“Christmas in Romsey is where we draw attention to the town, so that’s obviously part of that, but we have to do better through the rest of the year as well.”

“These little groups, that’s a challenge because they’re being run by a small number of people so all the help you can get is much appreciated and helps deliver a better outcome to members and the community.”

Member for Macedon Mary-Anne Thomas said the funding would help business associations provide critical advice, connections and resources to businesses in the Macedon Ranges.

“We’re committed to assisting businesses throughout the Macedon Ranges and Hepburn region recover from the coronavirus pandemic – and our business chamber and trader groups are a key part of this recovery,” she said.