RECENT WINNERS

Megan’s Story:

Megan Webster, founder and owner of Woof Watchers, has always had a love for furry creatures and realized her dream of starting a mobile grooming business 4 years ago. She quickly expanded her business to include a Doggie Day Care and with the expansion came a few staff members, one of whom has Aspergers and is thriving in the loving environment and working with animals.

“The best thing about being a small business owner is seeing my happy staff and most of all our happy furry babies and their owners, that for me is joy,” expressed Megan. On the flip side she explained the lack of money and time to be very challenging. Both of which have prevented Megan from enhancing her website.

“As a small business owner, I found that I am constantly putting all the extra money and time I have back into the business with very little extra to develop new concepts and ideas for the business. A new website has been on my ‘wish list’ for sometime and having won this grant from the Small Business Buddy program means the world to me as it has given me the opportunity to do something that probably would not have been possible in the near term otherwise,” added Megan.

Woofwatchers.com.au will be overhauled thanks to BizCover’s small business BUDDY program and Megan and her team are eagerly awaiting the stampede of little paws as a result!

For more on Megan’s story, read the media release.


Lucys Story:

Lucy’s love for cooking and baking was evident at age 9 when she would wake her parents early in the morning to put the oven on so she could make them breakfast. After a host of jobs in the hospitality world and completing her Diploma in Hospitality Management, Lucy, just aged 21 years old, opened her own cafe in May 2011 – Lucy May’s Cafe & Bar in Korumburra (www.lucymayscafe.com.au)

The business has gone from strength to strength over the years as a result of hard work and continued development like a introducing a catering service and a liquor licence. What has been missing is a flat grill which will help the cafe to not only expand their menu but to deliver a quicker service to its customers.

“This BizCover Small Business Buddy wish has given us an instant opportunity to expand and enhance our menu enormously. I strive to continually introduce new meals to satisfy our regular customers and attract new customers. Our team has been wishing for a flat grill for a year now and thought this wonderful Small Business Buddy Program opportunity may be the answer,” explains Ms Mertens.

The flat grill Lucy and her team wished for will be installed in the next couple of weeks.

For more on Lucy’s story, read the media release.


Maria’s Story:

Maria is the Co-ordinator at the Babyland Child Care Centre in Carlton NSW and has worked for the Dounis Group who own the centre for the past 14 years. She has nurtured and helped educate the children who have attended the centre over the years and for the past few years has wanted to invest in iPads to enhance their learning experience. But as with many small businesses the ‘nice to haves’ always slip off the priority list when there are other bills to pay.

To keep the Day Care Centre up to speed and remain attractive to future families, she felt they really did need iPads for the children and hence submitted her wish in the small business BUDDY campaign. “An iPad is a versatile, powerful tool that is changing the face of education – both students and teachers would have access to an endless amount of educational apps that can be purchased through the App Store. Content and material for all areas of learning are readily available, offering a diverse method to engage students”, said Maria.

Eleni Marangos, a parent whose two children attend Babyland, added, “having iPads at my children’s Day Care Centre would increase brain stimulation due to learning new & exciting educational programs that are provided through the apps. Programs such as spelling and maths and other interactive games and menus that use sensory touch technology would put my children at an advantage for when they get older and progress to primary school. This is why I think having the children exposed to this technology would make a positive impact for the Centre and to my children’s learning and development.”

Maria notes the biggest challenge they face today is the government’s recent budget cuts on families’ child care benefit which supports families at the centre and the cost of early education and care. She is confident the introduction of the iPads will not only benefit the children but ensure the parents feel more comfortable with the cost of childcare knowing their kids have access to one of the best learning tools available.

For more on Maria’s story, read the media release.


1Coleen’s story:

The Dorothy Cowie School of Dancing has been fulfilling young children’s dreams in the Inner West for the past 77 years. In 2010 the school commenced classes for children with special needs.

“We believe that the joy of dancing should be accessible to every individual regardless of age or ability,” said Coleen Cattell, Administrator of the Dorothy Cowie School of Dancing (www.dorothycowie.com.au)

Each year the Dance School puts on a concert which is the highlight of the year for many of their students, and in particular the special needs children. Coleen, who has been part of the Dance School for the past 17 years, submitted a wish to have the concert costumes for the special needs children paid for. She has seen the sheer joy of the kids all dressed up on stage and also knows the hardships the parents face to make this a reality for their children. She wanted the parents of the special needs children to simply take pleasure in the experience of watching their children in the concert without the worry of the additional costs.

“It’s a wonderful program with wonderful outcomes.  A big thanks to BizCover’s Small Business Buddy program, our special needs students and their parents are extremely grateful for the financial relief this will mean for them. They normally have a lot of ongoing costs outside of dancing and to have their concert costumes paid for will give them some much needed financial relief.  They are over the moon and so are we.” continues Coleen.

The Dorothy Cowie School of Dancing are the winners of the 2014 Local Business Award for Outstanding Service in Education. By granting their wish, they can continue the wonderful work they are doing with and this particular wish will touch numerous families and put smiles on the faces of the children on stage and their parents in the audience.

For more on Coleen’s story, read the media release.


winner

Darren’s story:

Darren graduated from the National Enterprise Incentive Scheme (NEIS) program through Centrelink and Mission Australia earlier this year and officially started operating his business, Falls Pest Control (www.fallspestcontrol.com.au), on 30 April 2014. He has had a tough few years battling depression after a family tragedy but has turned his life around and is currently a sole trader business operating on a mobile basis, servicing customers across Sydney’s west, Blue Mountains, Illawarra and Wollongong area’s seven days a week.

Darren has been using an outdated as well as very small chemical pump which has limited the number of jobs he could do in a day and the type of work he is able to carry out. To grow his business he was in desperate need of a larger petrol pump and this wish was granted by the BizCover small business BUDDY program.

“I have never won anything before, so I was shocked to find out I was the winner of the first Small Business Buddy wish. The new pump, hose and fittings costs almost $2000, money we just don’t have ourselves right now having only started up earlier this year.” Darren explained.

Darren anticipates this new pump will help him to grow his business by 40% in the coming months and allow him to bring on another technician.

The BizCover small business BUDDY program is about making a positive difference in the lives of the small businesses that are the heart and soul of the Australian economy. Simply make a wish and it could come true with the BizCover small business BUDDY program.

For more on Darren’s story, read the media release.