Commerce organisation Be.Bendigo plans to use its new presence in Hargreaves Mall as a way to engage more local businesses with their programs and events.
Be.Bendigo relocated to the mall this week in an effort to build other businesses’ awareness of them.
“One of the things we have been trying to do is get people to understand more about what we do, the things we are involved in and the programs we run for businesses,” Be.Bendigo chief executive Dennis Bice said.
“We thought if we are representing (Bendigo) businesses, the best way to do that is to be right in the mall to try and change the dynamics of things that are happening here.
“It is important to move into the mall and have these premises to be part of solution.”
Mr Bice said Be.Bendigo has been working with the City of Greater Bendigo to realign perceptions and improve the mall.
“Obviously there have been some changes with businesses coming into the mall, which is a positive thing,” he said.
“It’s important to play our part. We're certainly working with the City about whole realignment of the mall. Some of changes planned are going to help drive people back into the mall.”
Be.Bendigo has already started planning for its major events of the year including the business excellence awards.
“We have a pretty busy year coming up. We will continue to run the excellence awards, which recognise businesses for the efforts they put in,” Mr Bice said
“This year we are also, delivering our Grow Bendigo project, which is a major project with support from state government that is about growing regional opportunities for work.
“We will also be running our leadership programs, the invention and innovation festival, the small business festival and helping educate and develop small businesses. We will run probably 50 events (in total) this year.”
Mr Bice hopes the events, programs and festival will build on the organisation’s aims.
“We sat down to work through our strategic plan last year and said the three things we wanted to achieve were sustainable businesses, stronger community and a prosperous economy. So that's what we’re building to at the moment.” he said.
“We want to make sure we are supporting single owner-operated businesses right up to the bigger-end of the market.”