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SSC Newspaper : August 2010
There are no free croissants or fee holidays on o er, but small- and medium-sized businesses in the Strath eld area are being targeted by a new Commonwealth Bank of Australia business banking centre. Competition for the 3000 small and medium business clients is heating up among all the major banks as they aim for greater community engagement. e Commonwealth has set up its inner- west headquarters in Strath eld, headed by manager Maroun El Khouri and sta ed by local relationship consultants with a broad knowledge of the area and its challenges and opportunities. A CBA spokesman said: "Our reinvestment into Strath eld -- and the entire inner-west catchment area -- re ects our focus on customers across all segments, including business banking. " is is not limited to lending, but includes support for our clients across our range of products and services to help them achieve their goals." Other major banks have branch operations in Strath eld, but none is intending to set up a specialist small business centre at this stage. e Commonwealth spokesman said the Strath eld headquarters would o er products and ser vices for businesses covering lending, transaction banking and other requirements such as foreign exchange and wealth management. In the past year Westpac has reintroduced a local business banker at its Strath eld branch, which is also moving business bankers from regional branches into the local branch. Westpac estimates it can inject $3.3 million into businesses locally by helping them manage their nances more e ciently, which involves spending a day at the businesses to see how they operate. Local Westpac business banker iru Kumaralingam said: "I am passionate about helping my customers succeed. I learn more by spending a day working in one than I would from si ing behind a desk in a branch." "I'm looking for ward to rolling up my sleeves and learning about the unique issues faced by small businesses in their locations." e bank runs workshops on cash ows for small business owners. National Australia Bank operates its Strath eld business unit through its retail branch, but has a dedicated small business manager on tap as well as access to small business specialists. e manager of Strath eld's Bendigo Bank, C S Yoon, said the community bank concentrated on ser vicing 400 to 500 Korean small to medium enterprises in the catchment area, which he de nes as bounded by Campsie, Homebush, Belmore, Ash eld and Strath eld. ey include retail outlets, importers, a Korean supermarket and professionals, all ser viced by a customer relationship manager. Mr Yoon said the bank started to target SMEs run by Koreans about two years ago. "We are all bilingual and we understand the [Korean] culture," he said. Loans over $100,000 are branded as commercial loans and are dealt with through Bendigo Bank's Parrama a branch. ■ community feel The Strathfield CBD has a village atmosphere with residents, and visitors patronising locally-owned businesses and services. The Strathfield Chamber of Commerce has been working to enhance this community feel with a range of activities, including performances in the town square, a March Fair and a photographic exhibition for International Women's Day. These events would not have been possible without the sponsorship by Strathfield Partners Real Estate, Rainbow Cakes, Gloria Jeans Café Strathfield, Matrix Education, Thomas' Mobile Phones, Dental Focus, Wooden Bowl Family Restaurant, Westpac Bank Strathfield, Richardson Wrench Strathfield, Burwood Scene Newspaper, Lamba, Woolworths Strathfield, Strathfield Meat Market, St George Bank, Strathfield Sports Club, Hello Happy, Strathfield Council, Georges Ellis Real Estate, Lush Food Bar, A Touch of Paris and Cellarbrations. Photographs can be viewed at www.flickr.com/scoc/sets. ■ plates get protection The Chamber of Commerce, the Strathfield Council and the NSW Police are collaborating in a campaign to make motor vehicle number plates harder to steal. ■ goodie bags The Strathfield Chamber of Commerce will again have a stand at the Strathfield Council Spring Fair. Last year, the Chamber handed out free bags containing small gifts, vouchers and brochures for local businesses which went like hot cakes. If you are a local business and would like to have your marketing material in this year's bag contact the Secretary on 0432 323439 or email email@example.com. ■ our meetings The Strathfield Chamber of Commerce meets monthly on the second Tuesday of the month at 6pm in the office of Westpac Bank, Strathfield. New members are welcome and annual membership is $50. Contact the Strathfield Chamber of Commerce 0432 323 439. Chamber Roundup ADVERTISE WITH US CONTACT PETER WAGSTAFF AT: firstname.lastname@example.org 12 Strathfield Scene "We are bilingual and we understand the Korean culture” --Mr CS Yoon, Manager of Strathfield Bendigo Bank. august 2010 BUSINESS Mentoring boost for small business ASPIRING BUSINESS owners are being o ered help to build a successful venture. Strath eld Council is o ering courses with practical advice and tips on the key aspects of starting and running a small business. e Business Development Initiative, which runs over several months, includes three programs including Business Basics, a monthly workshop that provides a detailed checklist for establishing a new business. A business mentoring program is a 10-week course taught by experts across a range of disciplines such as marketing, performance and management. e program includes three-hour weekly sessions comprising of a presentation, group discussion and one-on-one advice. e program called Business Hub consists of seminars facilitated by business entrepreneurs that cover topics aimed at developing business knowledge and growing the enterprise. Workshops start this month with the seminar How To Start A Business on Wednesday, August 18, from 6pm to 9pm at High Street Community Library, Strath eld. Cost, $25 For bookings or further information on any of the business initiative programs, phone the Council's Economic Development O cer on 9748 9999 or see www.strath eld.nsw.gov.au. Banks get serious about SMEs iStock 1 GOOGLE SEARCH RESU LT S 'How to Improve your Online Presence' 27 Sep 2010 10:00 AM - 12:00 AM 2 HOW TO TEST AN IDEA 'Simple do-it-yourself Market Research Techniques' 27 Sep 2010 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM 3 BUSINESS WEBSITES How to build a website that will help GROW your business 28 Sep 2010 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM 4 HOW TO IMPROVE SALES PERFORMANCE Sales & Marketing Master Class 28 Sep 2010 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM 5 HOW TO START YOUR OWN SMALL BUSINESS 3HR SEMINAR 29 Sep 2010 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM 5 BUSINESS WORKSHOPS COMING TO STRATHFIELD FOR BOOKINGS OR FURTHER INFORMATION CALL 9748 9999 OR VISIT WWW.STRATHFIELD.NSW.GOV.AU www.smallbusinessmonth.nsw.gov.au Industry & Investment NSW SMALL BUSINESS SEPTEMBER 2010