Feedback is important to the team at The Business Centre

It's how we continue to offer the local business community the support required to start, run and grow your business. If you are a micro, small or medium business that would like to share your feedback, make suggestions or share ideas with us, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  We value it!

Hear directly from our clients...

Christina, Thank you for your guidance and provoking during the RIPPLER Course. The exposure to ideas and thought processes was something I appreciated. At first I wondered what I had got into but your books on Mandela and others on Leadership was informative . Chip Conley in Peak challenged me as an owner. Their ideas I am working into what I do. I expected a "how to " Course with notes etc. after a short while I realised you can not by definition"innovate" by learning. You need to discover what you can do by listening and seeing what others have done. It is not easy and it requires self awareness and honest personal evaluation. That you taught me.  I believe Business Leaders need to take time out from doing and spend more time thinking. RIPPLER gave me that opportunity. -- Partner of Legal Firm in Newcastle

Brookes engagement, dedication and down-to-earth natural approach have been a God-send to me through this process. It has been amazing to have someone to bounce things off - and I could never have gotten this far without the efficient goal-setting, follow-up and advice she's given me over these sessions. She is fantastic in her role as a Business Advisor with a warm approach, excellent communication skills and a lovely sense of humor which allows her to get the point across, keep the ball rolling and add advice - all at the same time. This program is just priceless for a small business owner and I hope that it will continue to reach out and help many other small businesses to grow and develop in NSW. -- Gillian Lana
The Business Centre has been a wonderful springboard for our business and we so appreciate all the support you have given us as we have developed and grown. -- Di Loong

Hi Colin! I just wanted to thank you again for all of your help! I have registered my business name "Sugar Entice" (finally! Haha) and set up a Facebook page under that name. I have already got some orders for the next few months. I'm so excited! I really appreciate the guidance you have provided me, as I'm not sure I would have had the courage or knowledge to do this without your help!  --Micharla Thiecke

The service that is provided by the "Small Business" team is amazing. I have found them to be helpful, caring and an extremely productive team. As a sole trader starting out with little cash it is such a wonderful service that is provided at no cost to help out with the "maze" of getting a business up and running. I am now into my second year and paid for the 6 consults and keeping that at such a reasonable rate allows me to continue with this support. I do hope for myself and other small traders that this service can be kept going for many years to come. -- Lynelle Burton
Thank you so much Colin Merrick for your feedback and encouragement today. Your professionalism and knowledge in regard to small businesses was invaluable information. Thank you for the ' hands on ' approach i.e visiting our office in our small town. We look forward to meeting with you again in the future. A great service to all small business entrepreneurs. -- Jo & Wendy 
I have always felt a bit alone managing this business, with no one really to turn to if I was unsure of things, particularly in the financial management role… I tried many people for advise, accountants, etc, but there are very few people with the business/ financial experience you have Mike, so for me, personally, a supportive, mentoring role that you have given me, has been of enormous benefit. There are many highs and lows in business, and maintaining confidence and motivation is vital.. there have been a few tough times, and that without knowing I have you as a mentor, and an impecible/ trustworthy person to talk to, I would have really struggled.. so yeah, you have given me the confidence to continue to grow and expand. -- Luke Sutton

Thank you Brooke, again, I am so grateful for your time, your advice, your guidance, everything. It really gave me some confidence that you believe in the business. And telling me to expect a quiet first 6 months just lights a fire underneath me to try and start with a bang (but I have heard you and will try my best not to be broken hearted if that doesn’t happen!) --Chantelle Robards

The support we have had from The Business Centre and it's staff has been wonderful. The can-do approach of the incubator management team made it possible for us to literally buy our computers on the Friday and be fully operating on the Monday. Having a base in the centre of the city is ideal for our business and having other small businesses in the incubator creates a very friendly work environment. The expertise and support of the staff has been great with help available to work through the various statutory requirements of starting and growing our business. We also have access to the mentoring program to review our business plan now that we have been operating for almost three months. We have the benefit of not being alone, with people asking are we okay and offering assistance whenever it is required. I cannot recommend the program highly enough for people wanting to start their own small businesses. -- Cathy Thomas
Just a little thank you for your assistance and guidance with the purchase of Turners Ice Confections.  This had being my first contact with the Business Centre and I was not sure what to expect in the way of help and assistance, after my first visit any doubts I may have had were put to rest and the professional information that was provided to me was of immense help in my decision making process as were subsequent follow up meetings.  I found the whole process to be professional, relaxed and most importantly a friendly atmosphere and I certainly will be following up with the mentoring program as soon as I settle into the business. -- David Timmins
Thanks to Gail Easton for helping us at Morpeth School of Arts for the Facebook for Business 'The Bar' Business Briefing.  Gillian Maxwell presented an informative and helpful training tips and tricks. Thanks for everyone for providing small businesses with free Social Media training. Keep up the good work. -- Mike Anthony
Just recently I was offered a unique business opportunity in tourism and hospitality - setting up and promoting an amazing historic home in the Hunter area for executive style accommodation and functions. I had a few ideas of my own but as a computer programmer, had no experience at all with tourism, marketing or business. I contacted The Business Centre in Newcastle for advice which resulted in several meetings with a consultant. The information received and the one-to-one mentoring has been invaluable. My consultant has expanded on the few ideas that I had, and together we are creating a comprehensive and detailed business plan that I could never have achieved had I attempted to do this solo. An added bonus is the list of contacts that The Business Centre has provided me with that will assist me in getting my business up and running and improve the quality and variety of services that I can offer to my clients. I'm so impressed with the service provided to me that I have signed up for workshops on Business, Marketing and Online Social Networking, and I'm looking forward to more planning sessions with my consultant. Its great to have people in the know to bounce ideas around with, give me direction and keep me focused on the tasks at hand. -- Jasmin Saba
Steve and I operate a small business in the Newcastle, Port Stephens, Lake Macquarie and Gloucester tourism LGAs. Last year, this business was under serious threat of folding, as a result of an aggressive 'squeeze out' bid launched by a similar business from outside of these LGAs. The Newcastle office referred us to our local business advisor at the most crucial time imaginable – twelve months later, we have not only held our market share, but have increased it and our profit margins enormously. We have also initiated an online business which is operating independently of the original. This has become a real success story!-- Lesley Lalor
Regarding your conference and training rooms, I have to say that your service and facilities were excellent! I have had nothing but excellent feedback from all the boys yesterday on both the room and the service that you and your company provided us. Our gentleman that required the chairlift and disabled facilities said that he felt very comfortable with everything provided and apparently they were most impressed that when it came to using the whiteboard ALL the markers worked! Apparently that was a first! So congrats! Even the tea and coffee provided was well received.... I have to say that when it comes to hiring out another room for another event or meeting we will definitely come to you first as everything was no hassle and any questions that I needed answered you were always very prompt in responding. I thank you once again and commend The Business Centre for your professionalism. -- Lisa Denholme

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"I'm so very grateful for the Mentoring I received from Brooke through the NEIS program!" -- Roz Ewart
"I love working with Brooke, I always leave the mentoring appointments feeling energised and ready for business" -- Antonia Gore
"The NEIS program – training and mentoring – really helped me with by confidence in business" -- Mandy-Lee Cluff
"Mentoring through The Business Centre helped me set realistic targets and strategies to grow my business" -- Peter Brown
"Mikes mentoring has guided our business from imminent collapse to a position of renewed survival with stronger market share and increased profitability" -- Lesley Lalor
"The service was beyond expectations, professional and informative." -- Ray Bylart – Connect
"Without the continuous assistance I would never of been able to start and grow my business." -- Alida de Laubadere –
"Not only did I learn a great deal I also was very engaged and entertained by the Advisers professional and experienced style of training." -- Phil Byrnes - Exce
"I learned so much in the one on one Advisory sessions and this was backed up with the availability of workshops and networking opportunities." -- Block Sign – Fonehub