Aboriginal business owner Michael Jones said the Local Capability Fund (LCF) fast-tracked his business so quickly the company managed to secure major contracts.
The Western Australian Government announced 4 rounds of the LCF in July 2020, worth $2 million to support local businesses.
Koormal Contracting received funding under the Aboriginal Round of the LCF to buy new equipment and engage a consultant to develop management plans for the purpose of achieving pre-qualification with Western Australian State Government agencies.
Mr Jones said the funding helped turn his business dreams into reality.
“We are now a Tier 2 tenderer which is huge for us,” he said. “That would normally take you 10 years of hard work to get to that point and we are there within 2 years.
“We have done things we had on the drawing board that we weren’t going to get to until sometime later.
“We are 12 to 18 months ahead of schedule, maybe more.”
Mr Jones said it was rewarding that his Bunbury business could now employ more Indigenous staff because of the funding.
“When we got that funding we had one Indigenous apprentice,” he said. “Currently we are sitting at 6 Indigenous staff.”
Mr Jones said he was hoping his company, which provides civil works, plumbing and asset maintenance to the construction industry, could take on more Aboriginal staff down the track.
“It’s part of our ethos,” he said. “It was certainly high on the list as one of the reasons we started the business.”
Managed by the Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation’s (the department) WA Industry Link team, the LCF is a competitive grants program that assists local businesses improve their capability and competitiveness to supply goods, services and works to the government, major projects and other important markets.
The funding can be used for equipment, improvements to internal business infrastructure and systems, and expert consultancy fees.
The department will be running a series of stories to promote local business outcomes as a result of LCF funding.
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