Frequently asked questions

How can I access Business Connect services?

You can register online for an advisory session or to book an event.

Business Connect also provides specialist advisors and tailored services for key small business issues and industries in disruption. Find out about about specialist services.

You can also call 1300 134 359 to connect with your local Business Connect advisor. Or to speak with a specialist or multicultural advisor call 1300 650 058.

Am I eligible for Business Connect?

If you own a business or are thinking of starting a business in NSW then Business Connect can help.

Eligible organisations include social enterprises, co-operatives and trusts, if they employ staff or are intending to employ staff in NSW. Organisations not intending to employ staff and run solely by volunteers are not eligible.

You must have the right to live and work in Australia and be a resident of NSW and/or have your business premises located in NSW.

Former international students with post study work right visas are eligible e.g. 485 visa holders. You can check your visa entitlements or find out more about business migration to NSW.

Read the Business Connect Program Terms and Conditions.

COVID-19. How can Business Connect support my business?

Independent, professional advisors, all of whom have experience in running their own small business can assist you with:

  • developing a customised recovery strategy
  • managing your cashflow
  • accessing finance including grants and loans
  • marketing your business to reach new customers
  • setting up for the future
  • connecting to other government support and local professional services.

Please note that public health guidance may mean support is only available via videoconference or phone.

Visit Service NSW for more information on all the support and services available to assist business.

Bushfire-impacted businesses. How can Business Connect help?

Business Connect provides free practical business advice to help businesses recover from disasters including the devastating bushfires during the summer of 2019-20. Professional business advisors, all of whom have experience in running their own small business can advise you on:

  • developing a customised recovery strategy
  • managing your cashflow
  • accessing finance including grants and loans
  • marketing your business to reach new customers
  • connecting to other government support and local professional services

Find more support for bushfire-impacted businesses.

What grants or other government assistance is available for my business?

The Business Concierge team at Service NSW can advise your business on a range of support and financial assistance available. Support may include recovery grants and loans and advice on government regulations. Visit Service NSW for more information.

The Commonwealth Government’s free Grants & Assistance Finder can also help you locate grants and assistance that may be available to your business.

When searching for funding, keep in mind that you’ll generally need to meet certain criteria to be eligible, and that aside from funding assistance, many programs can help your business by building your skills and knowledge.

If you are starting a business, find out more about how the NSW Government supports businesses.

If you want to grow your business, find out more about how the NSW Government supports businesses.

Be cautious of websites offering access to databases of government grants for a fee. These websites often give the impression they have government affiliation by using prominently-placed official logos, links to genuine government websites and photos of well-known Australians or landmarks. However, the fees charged by such sites are unnecessary because this information is made available for free on government websites which end with .gov.au

How much does Business Connect cost?

Business advice is free for businesses affected by COVID-19 and/ or bushfires.

All Business Connect customers can access the following services free of charge:

  • up to four hours of advice from a business advisor
  • webinars and online workshops offering business skills training and information

Workshops, seminars and further advisory sessions are affordable and highly subsidised by the NSW Government. You will pay a small contribution of $25 per event or hour.

Your Business Connect service provider will inform you of any fees before support is provided and arrange payment of any applicable fees directly.

How much support can I access under Business Connect?

A business can access a maximum of 60 hours of support in total over the lifetime of the program including advice, workshops and events.

Can I choose an advisor?

Yes, you can book a phone or online meeting with any Business Connect advisor.

Select your region or council area to find your local advisor. You can also search for an advisor by industry or business topic.

Who are Business Connect advisors?

Business Connect advisors are experienced professionals who provide confidential advice independently from the NSW Government.

Advisors have experience running a small business themselves and have a qualification in a business-related discipline.

Our accredited advisors also have management, consulting or prior experience giving business advice with a broad range of skills covering essential business topics.

Advisors can support you to tackle a range of business matters such as business planning, looking at your options and diversification opportunities, marketing, digital marketing and HR, and connect you to local professional services on a merit basis.

Find out more about the skills and experience of business advisors.

How long is each advisory session?

Your advisor may recommend a one hour advisory session. If it is more convenient for you to have a longer or shorter session, please let them know at the time of booking.

Who are the organisations that deliver Business Connect services?

You can find the list of all the Business Connect providers delivering the Business Connect program.

How do I access translation/interpreting services?

Business Connect multicultural advisory services are available in Arabic, Cantonese, Dari, Iranian, Korean, Mandarin and Vietnamese.

If you need an interpreter in a different language, you can access phone interpreting services for your advisory session in over 160 different languages through Translating and Interpreting Services (TIS).

Let your business advisor know the language you speak and they will arrange an interpreter. For more information visit the TIS national website or call 131 450 for the cost of a local call and tell the operator the language you speak.

If you require a sign language interpreter, your business advisor can book an interpreter through Auslan Services. For more information visit Auslan Services or call 1300 287 526 or 0409 143 980 (SMS only).

How do I become a Business Connect advisor?

Advisors need a range of skills and experience, including experience running their own business, a business-related qualification and management, and consulting or advisory experience.

Business Connect service providers have been engaged through a competitive tender process. Further details are available at NSW eTendering. You can sign up to alerts on the website for future opportunities.

How many businesses have accessed Business Connect services?

How do I provide feedback on Business Connect services?

After your first advisory session and after a workshop you will be asked to complete a short three question survey to provide feedback.

If you would like to provide additional feedback you can also contact us with your compliment, complaint or suggestion via email or by calling (02) 4908 4823.

What's the difference between the Business Concierge and Business Connect?

Business Connect provides practical business advice and skills training from independent advisors who have run their own business. They can help you to:

  • Develop a business or recovery plan
  • Market your business to reach new customers
  • Innovate and implement digital tools such as ecommerce
  • Manage your cashflow and access finance
  • Connect to other government programs and professional services such as accountants

A Service NSW Business Concierge can help you navigate and access all available support options including COVID-19 and bushfire grants and concessions and understand the government requirements for your NSW business. They can:

  • Help you with regulation requirements
  • Identify licences and permits your business needs
  • Deal with councils and agencies on your behalf
  • Connect you to support and advice across all levels of government

Business Concierges operate in your local area and can provide you with access to digital tools to build a to-do list of required activities for your business, allowing you to see and track your progress towards achieving your goals.

The Business Concierge service is free. You will be able to complete everything you need with the same Business Concierge no matter how long it takes – there is no need to re-tell your story. Business Concierges work with you at your desired pace and adapt their plans and schedule to fit your needs.

Register for a Business Concierge call back or call 13 77 88.