University and council join forces to help flood-impacted businesses

24 MARCH 2021

University and council join forces to help flood-impacted businesses

Charles Sturt University has joined forces with Port Macquarie-Hastings Council to provide local businesses impacted by the floods with free use of the University's brand new co-working business space.

  • Brand new co-working space at Charles Sturt University’s Innovation Hub in Port Macquarie to assist flood-impacted businesses
  • The purpose-built business centre will offer its facilities – work desks, boardroom, ZOOM booth, shared kitchen and wi-fi – to disrupted businesses free of charge
  • The new space, located at the Innovation Hub, is a partnership between the University and Port Macquarie-Hastings Council

A brand new co-working space that was set to officially open at Charles Sturt University’s Innovation Hub in Port Macquarie this week will now assist flood-impacted businesses.

The centre was scheduled to be opened by TV presenter and entrepreneur Todd Sampson on Tuesday; but due to the extreme weather conditions, the opening event has been postponed and the centre has geared up to help business impacted by the floods.

Businesses from the Mid North Coast that have had their normal business activities disrupted by the flood can apply to have complimentary access to the centre’s facilities up until Friday 16 April, subject to capacity.

These facilities include co-working desks, private acoustic booths, a 12-person boardroom, a pitch space, a projector and live-feed cameras, a Zoom booth, wi-fi access, a shared kitchen, and access to a selection of the University’s leisure and library facilities.

Charles Sturt Director of External Engagement in Port Macquarie Ms Kate Wood-Foye said the centre has opened just in time to provide much-needed relief for many local businesses.

“We developed our Innovation Hub and co-working space to provide opportunities and support to our local business community,” Ms Wood-Foye said.

“With the centre having just been completed, it allows us to provide businesses impacted by the unfolding flood crisis with much-needed complimentary access to our purpose-built business facilities.

“Many local businesses have been flooded or are experiencing severe damage and a prolonged clean-up, which has disrupted their internet and phone access, connection to services and many parts of their operations.

“We’re already starting to receive interest from our business community, with the team from Birdon Group the first to use our new centre after their riverfront facility was severely impacted by the floods.”

The University partnered with Port Macquarie-Hastings Council to deliver the co-working space within the Innovation Hub, with council’s economic development team facilitating the administration of subscriptions and services for the new facility.

Port Macquarie-Hastings Council’s Group Manager of Economic and Cultural Development Ms Liesa Davies said, “Staff from council and the University will be onsite at the new centre to provide businesses with information on other support packages and services available to them.

“We hope that by offering these great facilities and services, it means local businesses impacted by the floods can work in a supportive environment to keep the wheels of their business turning and firmly on the road to recovery.”

Businesses who have been disrupted by the floods and are interested in applying for complimentary use of the University’s co-working facilities can apply online via the council’s website subject to capacity.

The co-working space was developed to encourage innovation and collaboration and provide a purpose-built, shared working facility for local innovators, start-up founders and business owners.

The co-working space continues to be available to use from 9am to 5pm weekdays with early bird services from 7am to subscribers.

Visit council’s website to submit a co-working application for ongoing subscriptions and access to the facility.

Council plans to partner with the University to deliver a range of programs and presentations during the year to complement the established Innovation Hub programs, such as the Founders Collective initiatives, on offer across Charles Sturt’s regional footprint.

The University and council were successful in obtaining $15 million in funding for the Innovation Hub as part of the $66 million Stage 2 expansion of Charles Sturt in Port Macquarie.

Media Note:

To arrange interviews, contact Rebecca Akers at Charles Sturt Media on mobile 0456 377 434 or news@csu.edu.au

Image note (left to right): Terri Benson, Steve Holt, Matt Murray and Dan Kaddatz from Birdon Group, Marissa Clift from Port Macquarie-Hastings Council and Kate Wood-Foye from Charles Sturt University.

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