• Shire Adopts Small Business Friendly charter

    As part of our commitment to supporting the local business community in each of our towns, we are delighted to announce that the Shire of Ashburton has signed the Small Business Friendly Local Governments Charter. This new initiative, developed by the Small Business Development Corporation (SBDC), formally recognises local governments that are demonstrating, or working towards, ‘better practice’ in engaging with their small business community.

     By signing the Charter the Shire of Ashburton commits to assisting small businesses by:

    • Providing letters of support for funding applications that align with the Shire’s strategic plans.
    • Providing equal opportunity to local suppliers in the way of a ‘Buy Local – Regional Price Preference’, where a discount is applied when comparing tendered prices, so as to give a marginal advantage to a regional tenderer.
    • Ensuring payments to suppliers are made as early as 7 days, and up to a maximum of 30 days.
    • Providing free listings in the Shire Business & Community Directory.
    • Developing a new program of grant funding opportunities to local businesses.
    • Ensuring pre-registration inspections under the Health Act or the Food Act are completed within seven days.
    • Providing networking and support opportunities to enhance the operating environment for small businesses within our Shire.

    The Shire of Ashburton is proud to be ‘small business friendly’ and this commitment is part of our recently adopted Economic and Tourism Development Strategy, which defines a clear path for the enhanced development of a robust local economy in four towns.

    To stay updated about upcoming programs, workshops and networking opportunities across the Shire, register your interest via emailing

    For more information about the Small Business Friendly Local Governments initiative please visit


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