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Govt supports SMEs with $20m

The Rudd Government is helping small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in regional areas of Australia grow and develop by donating $20 million nationally to build an Innovative Regions Centre to be run from Geelong, Victoria.

Senator Kim Carr, minister for innovation, industry, science and research said that the Innovative Regions Centre, based at Deakin University’s Geelong campus, will help Australia’s regional SMEs maintain a foothold in today’s increasingly global marketplace.

“The Innovative Regions Centre will operate as a source of advice and services to help regionally based SMEs become more innovative, efficient and competitive,” he said.

“The centre is aimed at assisting regions that are experiencing tough times with higher than average unemployment and significant adjustment pressures.”

According to Carr, the facility is an integral part of the Rudd Government’s $251 million Enterprise Connect network.

“This centre is part of a truly national network which will provide services and support for about 1,500 companies annually to access expert, practical advice and support which is tailored to their particular needs and requirements.

“SMEs today face many challenges, but the Rudd Government strongly believes that with these challenges come opportunities.

“This centre is about helping businesses seize these opportunities — boosting regional economies and creating more regional jobs,” he said.

The Innovative Regions Centre will support businesses in targeted regions around the country, and will be equipped to analyse the issues facing SMEs in regional areas.

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