Series of free workshops a show of support for local businesses

Series of free workshops a show of support for local businesses

Tuesday, 5 October 2021

Local businesses in Penrith and St Marys have the chance to take part in a series of online workshops, designed to give them tips and guidance on how to recover and rebuild from the pandemic that has gripped our City.

These free, virtual sessions are being offered as a partnership program between Penrith City Council, Penrith Valley Chamber of Commerce, Penrith CBD Corporation, and the St Marys Town Centre Corporation.

Council’s coordinated COVID-19 response has seen the Mayor and Council staff meet with the region’s key business partners on a weekly basis to identify and respond to challenges and concerns, and discuss hopes for the future.

Penrith Mayor Karen McKeown OAM said the business workshops are there to assist employers and their staff as they prepare to reopen to the community when restrictions ease.

“Council and all of the organisations involved in this partnership really want to show our unwavering support for the local businesses, and the strong people behind them who have faced their toughest setbacks over the past 18 months,” Cr McKeown said.

“During Council’s ongoing local level engagement, which involved surveying our City’s businesses, core themes emerged which have influenced the topics set to be discussed across a range of workshops that will be held in the coming weeks.

“From increased financial pressure to change fatigue, we are gathering real-time feedback and are aware of the lasting impact the COVID-19 pandemic will have on our City.

“Our local businesses are the lifeblood of our economy, so it is crucial that we help them on their recovery journey, and we hope they take this opportunity to help them grow and regain confidence.”

The series of learning sessions will run for 45 minutes and are designed to be interactive. The first session will explore ways that Service NSW can help local business, such as applying for grants and other forms of assistance.

Another session will be hosted by locals Aaron Zarb and Matt Gamble, who created The Mastered Mindset podcast. They will deliver a high energy, impactful presentation based on the fundamental habits of gratitude, positivity and presence.

To book your place for the first workshop, and read about the topics for each session, visit

Quotes attributable to Gai Hawthorn, CEO of Penrith CBD Corporation:
“These workshops are about having the opportunity to learn and engage more, to be prepared for the strength of reopening and staying complaint.”

“In the first instance of reopening as we lead up to Christmas, many residents will be happy to shop locally so being prepared, understanding your customers’ needs, re-evaluating and reiterating your business model - whether that’s continuing with ‘click and collect’ or re-opening doors – needs to happen now.”

Quotes attributable to Kate Rafton, President of Penrith Valley Chamber of Commerce:
“The workshops cover a range of topics to assist businesses in the road to recovery. We feel it will be of great benefit to our members and the wider business community.”

“The topics focusing on recovery strategies for businesses will be very topical, especially as the easing will be taking place from 11 October under the current roadmap.”

Quotes attributable to Martin Coote, Chair of St Marys Town Centre:
“Small businesses everywhere have taken a major hit with this lockdown and St Marys Town Centre is no exception. For many of our retailers, the cost has been more than simply financial. People are understandably very drained from the lack of certainty and having to keep going week after week. However, there has been renewed hope with talk of reopening.”

“What’s clear is businesses want to do their part to protect their customers and themselves, because they want their doors to stay open more than anything. Right now, our businesses need the backing of their community – shop local is the best support anyone can give.”

“As businesses get back to work, these workshops are a great opportunity for business owners and their teams to learn valuable skills and information. They’ll be a great way to reinvigorate your business brain!”

Information contained within this news release was correct as at Tuesday, 5 October 2021.