Getting a fix on Katherine business
As a Small Business Champion and acting Manager for Economic Development in the Big Rivers Region, Miranda Halliday had an unusual and critical role.
"Our titles were somewhat irrelevant during these months," she said.
"What became more important was the fact that we were a 'human' that a business could reach out to for help. We had an intimate understanding of the business support packages available through this time and this is what businesses were needing; just someone to explain, guide and support them through."
Miranda said she and her colleagues would do "anything and everything" to support businesses.
"Emotions were running high within the business community and we quite often were a sounding board for expressions of absolute distress and despair. Our conversations usually commenced with, 'are you ok?' This was usually the starting place.
"Once the emotions were out, we helped businesses to find some clarity and think logically. We offered a support pathway and assisted businesses to navigate the variety of stimulus packages being offered by the NT and Australian governments. This helped them to find some clarity in working out what was the best fit for them."
The resilience and creativity of the business community and her colleagues have left Miranda impressed.
"We saw businesses adapt or pivot their business models almost overnight to get by and what resulted were some amazing opportunities that may have not otherwise been triggered if it weren't for COVID," she said.
"I've been equally proud of seeing everyone within our department and the broader NT Government really stand up to carry the load, together. The 'no wrong door' policy really rang true during this time and, in some sense, the chaos strengthened working relationships and our congruity was heightened."
Last updated: 17 August 2020
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