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Grants win for Blue Mountains

corporate2community (C2C), a leader in business community disaster resilience, has won two grants in collaboration with BusinessBM, the region’s new business network, to build resilient business communities across the 26 towns of the Blue Mountains.

The grants total more than $600,000 and have been awarded separately through the joint-funded NSW and Commonwealth Government Bushfire Local Economic Recovery (BLER) Fund, and the NSW Bushfire Community Recovery and Resilience Fund (BCRRF).

“Disasters are here to stay – the bushfire, pandemic, drought and flood events of the past 18 months have shown us there are big gaps in business community preparedness in the Blue Mountains and right across the country,” corporate2community Director Renae Hanvin said.

“It doesn’t matter how big or small your business is, owners, operators and employees need to start building new vital capabilities in disaster preparedness and resilience. One of the best ways to do this is to get businesses working together and sharing their knowledge to support place-based resilience outcomes.”

BusinessBM spokesman and local Bartons Real Estate Principal Mark Barton said Blue Mountains businesses had suffered as a result of the 2019-20 bushfires and the Covid-19 pandemic, which had severely impacted tourism and the ability to trade as usual.

“We know that together we’re stronger, and by better connecting businesses we can bring everyone along on the journey and create a more resilient local economy,” Mr Barton said.

“This is about keeping the business community in business. We want to engage with every town across the Blue Mountains, and we’re inviting and welcoming every business owner, operator and employee – there will be benefits for everyone.”

The first grant, worth $284,900, will underpin the creation of a free business community resilience hub to support self-sufficiency and long-term resilience by sharing knowledge and developing resilience-focused learning programs for local businesses.

The second grant, worth up to $331,000, will fund a pilot to identify and build a learning program that will position the Blue Mountains business community as a national leader in facilitating and educating businesses about disaster preparedness and resilience outcomes.

Ms Hanvin said C2C had already engaged a local consultant to help drive engagement for the first project, and would be employing two additional people to work across the second project.

“Employing local people and tapping into local expertise and services is central to every project we undertake,” Ms Hanvin said. “We’re delighted to have appointed local corporate communications specialist Rebecca Lang, who will be working on our stakeholder engagement and reaching out to local business groups.”