With more than 9,000 business, many classed as small and micro in nature, the City of Cockburn joined the SBDC’s Small Business Friendly Local Governments program in 2018.

Having also participated in the SBDC’s Small Business Friendly Approvals Program in 2021, the City continues to demonstrate its commitment to its small business community with innovative support. This includes improved digital connectivity, business development grants, networking opportunities and incubating a new tourism advisory group.

NBN investment for local business

The City of Cockburn is the first local government in Western Australia to co-invest in world class NBN for their local businesses, with the establishment of a Business Fibre Zone (BFZ) in Cockburn Central.

This new BFZ, jointly funded by the City and the Australian Government, will cover an area of 8.4 square kilometres and cater to more than 1,200 individual businesses in Cockburn Central and sections of the neighbouring suburbs of Success, South Lake, Jandakot and Yangebup.

Cockburn will now have five BFZs, including in Bibra Lake-Coogee, Henderson, Fremantle and O’Connor-Murdoch, serving about 70 per cent of businesses within its boundaries.

Cockburn Destination Advisory Group

The City recently seized the opportunity to pursue a goal of being a tourism and visitor destination of choice, by hosting a networking event for the visitor and destination sectors. With 17 kilometres of coastline, including Coogee Beach (named in Australia’s top 20 by Tourism Australia), the local government is building on existing and future attractions to create an identity as a key tourism destination.

The outcome has been the formation of a 17-member Cockburn Destination Advisory Group, comprised of motivated local businesses, attractions and not-for-profit groups, all keen to sustainably advance Cockburn as a tourism destination that provides employment opportunities and local economic growth.

The group, which held its first quarterly meeting in July 2023, aims to encourage local businesses and stakeholders to work together to recruit talent and innovate to attract further tourism customers and investment in Cockburn.

Cockburn is already a popular destination for Perth residents and visitors who seek outdoor, adventure and family activities – not only due to its attractive coastline and the Coogee Maritime Trail, but the proximity of other unique attractions such as the Perth’s largest and only ice-skating venue south of the river.

The timely formation of the advisory group is well placed to help local businesses capitalise on the expected buzz from the state’s first inland Surf Park in Jandakot, which is due to open in late 2025.

Local Economic Development Grants 2023

The City of Cockburn introduced local economic development grants of up to $5,000 per business in 2021. The grants are targeted at micro, small and medium size businesses based in the City, or with services directly benefitting the Cockburn community.

The grants have been used in the past to upskill staff, improve cyber security, set-up specialist playgroups, launch new therapeutic goods, and establish digital marketing, e-commerce capabilities and websites.

The 29 innovative business recipients this year included a physiotherapist offering a bike fitting service, a dance school providing mental health therapy and a fishing accessories manufacturer.

Micro Business Networking Group

Each month, the City provides an opportunity for their micro business sector to come together and hear from a guest speaker, at a networking event.

According to a recent report from NRMA, the micro business sector (defined as a business with between 0-4 employees) is Australia’s fastest growing category of small business, making up 89 per cent of all businesses nationally.

The free monthly event in Cockburn offers an opportunity for networking and knowledge building among business owners of home-based businesses, sole operators and other types of small businesses.

Proactively helping businesses grow and prosper

City of Cockburn Mayor Logan Howlett said the traditional role and perception of local government had moved away from that of a regulator, facilities operator and service provider.

“We are doing much more than that. We are proactively supporting our business community to help it to continue to grow and prosper,” Mayor Howlett said.

“This forms the foundation of our business-friendly focus, with an Economic Development team dedicated to fostering a vibrant future for our City, its businesses and residents.”

Learn more


Photo credit: City of Cockburn.

Small business friendly
23 August 2023