The state government has launched a new business hub aimed at fast tracking economic recovery and business growth for the Kangaroo Island community.
The official opening ceremony of the Kangaroo Island Business Hub on Commercial Street, Kingscote took place on Friday, October 31.
Renowned Indigenous artist Cedric Varcoe, a Ramindjeri, Ngarrindjeri and Narangga man, did the Welcome to Country and conducted a smoking ceremony through the building.
Local recovery coordinator for Kangaroo Island, Rob Manton was the master of ceremonies and spoke about the progress made since the bushfires.
Minister for Innovation and Skills, David Pisoni said the KI Business Hub was a key investment by state and federal governments under the $1.8 million South Australian Disaster Small Business Transformation and Growth Program.
"The duel impacts of COVID-19 and the devastating bushfires have had heart-breaking consequences for the people of Kangaroo Island," Mr Pisoni said.
"Businesses and primary producers on Kangaroo Island have lost stock, crops, tools of trade, infrastructure, customers, sales and the ability to employ staff.
"The new KI Business Hub will be a welcome boost for the hundreds of businesses on the island, providing the ongoing support services they need to manage the recovery of their businesses and protect local jobs.
"The hub will provide a range of free support services for businesses, entrepreneurs and primary producers, including access to in-house experts, broader government support services, training and coaching to help them transform, grow and innovate.
"It also offers meeting and training rooms, event spaces, video conferencing facilities, laptops and a co-working space with WiFi for businesses to use and work in during visits.
"This new facility ensures businesses of all shapes and sizes and across all sectors can come together to collaborate, network and exchange ideas to create new business and job opportunities."
Kangaroo Island local Susi Whitehead has been selected as the business hub coordinator and will be based in hub, available to assist with any queries or programs.
Western KI Caravan Park owner Fiona Jago also spoke at the ceremony, saying the new KI Business Hub was a great addition to the community, providing practical help and support for all businesses.
"As a small business owner, I know how difficult the past few months have been due to the bushfires and the COVID-19 pandemic," Ms Jago said.
"Having access to services and assistance in one place with the ability to have private discussions away from your business or personal location is a benefit to the entire community.
"The one-on-one support and new hub facilities offers a new way for business owners to get together, bounce ideas around and give each other support."
The KI Business Hub is located at 101 Commercial Street, Kingscote and operates Monday to Friday.
For more information, visit business.sa.gov.au