BGEA ‘South West Alliance Response and Recovery’ – COVID-19

The Bunbury Geographe Economic Alliance (BGEA) is currently facilitating the whole South West response to the current health crisis affecting businesses of all sizes and all industry sectors.  In a collaborative approach with Business South West Connect (BSW) our aim is to assist regional businesses get through the current challenging situation and provide opportunities and options for recovery.  Our aim is to lead and facilitate a united, coordinated, consistent and practical approach to ‘South West Alliance Response and Recovery’ as well as being an effective conduit to and from all tiers of government.

BGEA and BSW together with a number of private and public sector partners and organisations within our region, are directly responding to the needs of south west businesses by providing pro-bono and no-cost options for business assistance and advice, business mentoring, emotional wellbeing, technical and IT assistance; and the collation of accurate and timely information to be disseminated through a south west web based portal that will be operational in the next few days.  There is currently a plethora of information being disseminated by organisations and government in response to COVID-19, as well as associated business and employment solutions and packages available.  The ‘South West Alliance Response and Recovery’ portal is being built to collect, collate and disseminate all business-related information and options of assistance for South West businesses, their staff and families.

BGEA is playing a leadership role in the facilitation and management of a wide-ranging, adaptive and agile ‘South West Alliance Response and Recovery’ working group to collectively identify, analyse and provide a practical response to the needs of regional businesses in the ever-changing environment that we are faced with. 

The ‘South West Alliance Response and Recovery’ team currently have 6 working sub-groups focusing on the following key areas:

IT Technical
& Planning
Develop a single go-to south west portal for aggregating and disseminating information and on-line upskilling training resources from all sources tailored to the region’s business needs.Peter Griffyn – SWCCI
Darren Berson – BSW Connect
Michael Smart – Busselton CCI
Business Support
& Assistance
To collectively develop practical strategies for supporting and assisting SMEs in responding and recovering from the COVID-19 crisis.Damien Chalk – IPS
Alisha Fenn – AF Accounting
Lyn Farrell – ECU South West/BGEA Board
Louise Barkle – BSW Connect
Mental Health
& Business Resilience
Develop and access online tools to support business owners and their staff, communities and families in maintaining their mental and emotional health, and to build business resilience.Gary Hodge – The Pacific Institute
Justin O’Hehir – Inspired Results
Dom Marzano – Marzano Consulting Psychologists
Business MentoringDevelop a south west business mentoring network that business owners can access through the portal to support and assist them in staying on track with their business response and recovery action plans.Dr Robyn Morris – BSW Connect
Amanda Yip – Ahoy Management & City of Bunbury Councillor
Claire Anderson– IPS
Iain Massey – South West Leaders and Upland Consulting
Businesses &
SW Industry
To work with industry associations and businesses to gather information and monitor the region’s business issues and needs, and to present these to the relevant tiers of government.Steve Down – AMD Chartered Accountants
Mark Seaward – BCCI
Michael Smart – Busselton CCI
Jennifer May – City of Busselton, Economic Development Taskforce
Mat Lewis – SWDC
Tracey Hodgkins – Southern Dirt South West Agriculture
Natalie Peterson – Totally Sound Business Owner
City of Bunbury Economic Development
Develop clear, concise communication across all forms of media to the public to show support and to direct them to the portal to access information, training available and online resources.Jon Ricciardone – Bureau42
James Hayward – Firey Productions
Sam Fotu – Southern Cross Austereo    

The working group has south west regional representation and active involvement from more than 40 community minded stakeholders, organisations and business owners from the public and private sectors.  Right now, this team is volunteering considerable time and resources under very difficult and challenging circumstances to provide a collective, coordinated response and identify options and opportunities for SMEs to promote regional recovery in the coming months and years ahead.

BGEA would like to thank all the many volunteers, Council staff and South West businesses working on a pro-bono basis so far to get to this stage.  

BGEA will continue to lead, manage and provide coordinated assistance to south west businesses, as well as being an effective advocate for business and industry, and a conduit to and from all tiers of government.

Chris McNamara

CEO – Bunbury Geographe Economic Alliance (BGEA)