FIRST FORAY: The expo will provide Stanthorpe with information on government subsidies and incentives available to local businesses.
FIRST FORAY: The expo will provide Stanthorpe with information on government subsidies and incentives available to local businesses. Contributed

Three-pronged expo day will promote subsidies

The region's retail, hospitality and tourism businesses will be given the chance to connect with the industry's education and training experts when Southern Downs Regional Council hosts its first Government Subsidies Expo next month.

Hosted by Council's Economic Development and Tourism team, the not-to-be-missed Expo provides valuable information on the government subsidies, incentives and support available to the retail, hospitality and tourism sectors.

Prompted by the Queensland Government's Tourism Workforce Plan, which aims to provide the industry with another 20,000 workers by 2020, the Expo will help generate jobs in the region by equipping local business operators with the information and know-how to hire apprentices and trainees to meet their specific skills and staffing needs.

The Expo will provide vital information on apprentice and trainee options and availability, directly connecting government program and subsidy providers with local businesses.

Representatives from education and training organisations, employment agencies and other local service providers will provide industry updates and key information at a forum and via trade stalls.

Southern Downs Regional Council staff will be on hand to answer questions and selected local industry providers will present new and innovative products and services.

Southern Downs Regional Council Mayor Tracy Dobie said these industries combined contribute over $300M to the regional economy every year.

"Our retail, tourism and hospitality businesses contribute so much, not only to our economy, but also to the vibrancy and liveability of our region," Cr Dobie said.

"This forum will equip these industries with valuable insights into incentive programs and available subsidies to continue to strengthen and grow their businesses, and our region.

"No matter how successful a business, there's always room for improvement - to do better, and local business don't have to do it alone. There is support available, so I encourage people to come along and take advantage of these programs and subsidies.

"We are also inviting agencies and businesses that support or contribute to the retail, tourism

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