Whitehorse City Council

Support & Resources for Businesses

Business and Economic Development Unit 

At Council, we take pride in creating an environment that supports new business to ensure the continuation and further development of a successful and thriving business community. This is clearly articulated in the pdf icon Whitehorse Economic Development Strategy 2014-2019 (1.63MB), Council's guiding document for assisting in retaining and expanding local businesses, and attracting new businesses that contribute positively to the overall enhancement of the local economy, natural environment and quality of life for the community.

In addition to providing and/or lobbying for important infrastructure such as roads, public transport, drains, pavements, landscaping and lighting, and implementing vital regulatory services in Planning, Building, Health and Local Laws, Council provides key services for local business in the form of:

Information and Research

  • Community profiles (ABS Census data and forecasts)
  • Key industry sector data
  • Shopping centre business plans
  • Shopping centre special rates
  • Key redevelopment site opportunities
  • Referral to state and federal government business support and development programs
  • pdf icon Whitehorse Retail Strategy (3.19MB) (the strategy provides an overall assessment of retail activity in Whitehorse, its current framework, performance and assessments of the current retail supply and the likely future retail demand within the municipality and key centres)

Networking and Training

  • Introductions to a wide range of local business associations, including the Whitehorse Business Group Inc., the leading business association in the City
  • Assistance in establishing a Business Association/Chamber of Commerce
  • Providing and supporting a wide program of Whitehorse based events and training opportunities 
  • A calendar of events and training opportunities being held locally and regionally

Whitehorse Business Week

Whitehorse Business Week  is a series of events run during a week in August with a range of high profile speakers on various topics providing local and regional businesses information on the future direction of national and international business. Businesses who attend events are provided with the opportunity to network with other local businesses whilst exploring critical issues affecting business in Whitehorse with other like businesses. Local businesses are also offered an opportunity for sponsorship.

Marketing and Communications

Business Newsletter

Down to Business is a quarterly business newsletter distributed to businesses located in and around the City of Whitehorse. The newsletter provides up-to-date information to keep you informed about business events and activities, as well as information to help you manage your business.

WBIZ: Business Website 
Access to a website service is available to businesses located in the City of Whitehorse. The website services include access to a local business directory, free promotion for local businesses in the business listing, an events calendar, which includes Council events as well as an opportunity for local businesses to add and promote their event.

Online Business Guides

The Victorian Government's World Class Service is an easy to use, free information service to put you on the right path. It delivers advice, practical tools and dedicated support on starting and running a business. It brings together a wealth of helpful information to make it easier for businesses to cut through red tape from all three tiers of government.

These include:

  • Interactive step-by-step guides which provide advice on common business issues such as starting or buying a business, employment law, modifying existing premises, exporting, building or improving a website, and guides to quickly research - and in some cases apply for - a Council permit 
  • The 'Ask a Question' service is designed to offer a single entry point for businesses to ask questions (online or by phone) rather than contacting multiple agencies, with all questions answered by experienced staff
  • The 'Human Resources' tools provide template documents for recruiting and interviewing staff. Online calculators are available to help users work out issues such as annual staff turnover costs or cost effective staff hiring
    Development of personalised checklist

Whitehorse Business Group Inc.

Level 1, Kenneth McIntyre Room
1022 Whitehorse Road
Box Hill VIC 3128
Phone: 9275 6910
Fax: 9899 4507
Email: info@whitehorsebusinessgroup.com.au
Website: www.whitehorsebusinessgroup.com.au

The Whitehorse Business Group (WBG) formed in 1996, encourages links between Council and the local business community. The WBG consists of key business leaders from the local community who volunteer their time to encourage and develop future economic stability and growth within the City of Whitehorse. This successful organisation has become an integral component of local and regional economic growth.

The WBG has recognised the need to offer local businesses the opportunity to network and develop business links amongst Whitehorse businesses and local service providers. Membership is open to all businesses operating or located within the City of Whitehorse and offers extensive benefits, including:

  • Bringing Business Together Series: featuring key speakers on a range of business topics, these free and informal networking session's assist in building business connections
  • Business Lunch Series are held throughout the year hosting high profile speakers, members receive reduced registration fees and are invited to attend these occasions to promote their business
  • Marketing opportunities: a listing on the website, involvement and use of the Business Benefits Card and access to the membership database to promote and market your products and services
    Networking with Councillors, council officers and key decision makers who regularly attend functions
  • Information on the latest issues and changes affecting the area via online newsletters and forums

Whitehorse Business Group Excellence in Business Awards

The annual awards provide an opportunity to publicly recognise and reward local businesses for their outstanding achievements. Nominations are called for each year from businesses operating in the City of Whitehorse.

Business Associations

There are approximately 85 commercial centres within the City of Whitehorse. The size of these centres range from two businesses to more than 100 and the mix of businesses include retail, personal and business services.

The structure of each commercial centre varies in accordance with the size and unique characteristics of the individual centre. The larger enclosed centres have a management structure. The smaller strip shopping centres can either have an active and incorporated business association comprised of nominated business representatives or a more informal group structure.

View an up to date list of incorporated business associations in Whitehorse.  

Box Hill Activity Centre

Box Hill is designated as a Principal Activity Centre and is one of just nine Transit Cities in Metropolitan Melbourne under Melbourne 2030. As part of Melbourne 2030, Principal Activity Centres and Transit Cities such as Box Hill are expected to develop into high-density, pedestrian friendly urban centres that are intimately connected to public transport services.

Council's vision for Box Hill is that it will be sustainable, safe and accessible to all. It will be a distinctive, vibrant, diverse, inclusive, participatory, caring and healthy community where you live, work and enjoy - day and night.

Box Hill is the main hub in the City of Whitehorse, combining shops, fresh food market, major office, education and medical facilities, civic functions, community service agencies, and entertainment and recreational opportunities for the regional and local populations. Box Hill has the second busiest transport interchange outside Flinders Street Station/Melbourne
Business District bringing together train, tram and bus services.

If you require information on Box Hill, including existing businesses, upcoming events and support services please visit www.boxhill.com.au or contact the Box Hill Activity Centre Manager on 9262 6479.

Victoria Business Centre

Dandenong – Southern and Eastern Metropolitan Regions – Victorian Business Centre
314A Thomas Street, Dandenong VIC 3175
Phone: 9938 0100
Fax: 9794 5644
Email: informationofficer.dandenong@diird.vic.gov.au
Website: www.business.vic.gov.au

The Victorian Business Centre is a one point to access business information, and services, research and grants from the Department of Innovation, Industry and Regional Development, State Government and the private sector.

Specific programs include:

  • Business Strategic Review: designed to provide a snapshot, insight and analysis into business operations and direction and identify and prioritise areas requiring attention or change
  • Business Development Plan: designed to provide a comprehensive, flexible strategic plan for future growth and opportunity. It assists organizations to pinpoint where they want to go and how they are going to get there
  • First Step Exporter: funding for eligible Victorian companies to assist in research and to explore opportunities in their first export market/s
  • My Business My People: this initiative provides a range of services for small and medium sized enterprises to help overcome skills shortages and to attract and retain skilled employees through better workforce planning and improved access to training.
  • Small Business Mentoring Service: mentoring services are provided by 70 highly experienced business people with skills and qualifications in a wide range of industries and disciplines. For a minimal cost, Victorian small businesses can access the wisdom and experience of the Small Business Mentoring Service.
  • Under New Management Program: business information and low-cost training workshops on Going into Business; Buying a Franchise; Signing a Retail Lease and Strategic Business Planning.

Further Resources

The following services provide a diverse range of practical assistance to help guide businesses through the maze of information and requirements for successfully starting or operating a business.

Australian Chamber of Commerce
Level 3, 486 Albert Street
East Melbourne VIC 3002
Phone: 9668 9950
Website: www.acci.asn.au

The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry is the peak council of Australian business associations. Its member network has over 350,000 businesses represented through Chambers of Commerce in each state and territory, and a nationwide network of industry associations.

Australian Industry Group (AI Group)
20 Queens Road
Melbourne 3004
Phone: 9867 0111
Website: www.aigroup.asn.au

The AI Group is a not-for-profit association that was created to assist Australian industry to become more competitive on a domestic and international level. AI Group provides comprehensive advice and support to assist members to run their businesses more effectively. One of the largest industry and employer bodies in the country, the group represents thousands of member companies nationally and has a broad membership consisting of business of all sizes throughout Australia.

Australian Retailer Association of Victoria (ARAV)
Level 2, 104 Franklin Street
Melbourne VIC 3000
Phone: 9321 5000
Email: info@vic.ara.com.au
Website: www.ara.com.au

The ARAV was established in June 1996, combining the resources of retailer associations Australia-wide. Their mission is to be the preeminent, cohesive, nationwide organisation that is recognised as representing the diverse interests of all retailers and is the most effective provider of quality information and services to members that fosters an environment conducive to their business success.

Australian Taxation Office (ATO)
990 Whitehorse Road
Box Hill VIC 3128
Business Tax Infoline: 13 28 66
Website: www.ato.gov.au

To ensure accurate tax assessments and to minimise tax, business owners are encouraged to contact the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). The ATO can provide information and advice on a wide range of tax issues, including tax implications on various business structures, income tax, sales tax, record keeping, business deductions, employer tax information and specialist industry tax information.

Box Hill Business Enterprise Centre (BEC)
456 Elgar Road
Box Hill VIC 3128
Phone: 8892 2004
Website:  www.bhtafe.edu.au

The Box Hill BEC is a provider of mentoring, advice, referrals, training and networking to new and existing businesses. Many of the services are subsidised by the federal government thus providing an affordable service to small and medium businesses. Box Hill BEC is also the Victorian Government's Small to Medium Enterprises Specialist Centre.

Box Hill Institute Short Courses
853 Whitehorse Road
Box Hill VIC 3128
Phone: 03 9652 0611
Website: www.cae.edu.au 

Box Hill Institute provides a range of short courses on small business management issues for people planning to start a business or seeking to improve business performance.

New Enterprise Incentive Scheme (NEIS)
Box Hill Business Enterprise Centre
456 Elgar Road
Box Hill VIC 3128
Phone: 8892 2002

NEIS is a federally funded program designed to assist unemployed people to commence their own business. The program offers income support for up to 12 months, ongoing business advice and small business training. All free for eligible participants.

Victorian Employers' Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VECCI)
486 Albert Street
East Melbourne VIC 3002
Phone: 8662 5333
Email: vecci@vecci.org.au
Website: www.vecci.org.au

VECCI is Victoria's most influential employer group, servicing over 25,000 Victorian businesses per annum. An independent non-government body, VECCI was started by the business community to represent business.