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Our Small Business Grant Winners — Five Months On

Earlier this year, Salesforce teamed up with the Council of Small Business Organisations Australia (COSBOA) to launch the Salesforce Care Small Business Grants in Australia. 

The partnership saw one-off grants of $10,000 given to 72 small businesses to help them deal with the impact of COVID-19. Five months on, we caught up with five of those businesses to discover how that cash boost has impacted their operations.

Bellchambers Music School

The grant money was immediately put to use by Bellchambers Music School to increase its library of online music lessons. They headed straight to the recording studio to lay down 50 new songs, as well as capture a new pitch video to help them grow the business even further through childcare centres. 

The Canberra-based Music School had quickly moved online at the start of COVID-19 and has focused on growing that side of the business over the months that have followed. 

The remaining grant money is to be invested into the logistical side of the operation – mechanical reproduction, IP protection and a website to deliver the content – “not as much fun as spending three days in the studio singing songs”, says Bellchambers’ Rachel Campell – but fundamentally important all the same. 

For Rachel, the grant money allowed the team to look forward, rather than back. 

“Small business is hard at the best of times, and having that validation from the Council of Small Business Operations and Salesforce has been amazing.”

Play along with Bellchambers Music School and follow them on Facebook.

Henry’s Ginger Beer

Henry’s Ginger Beer is a Tassie staple, stocked in many of the island’s cafes and shops and at festivals. COVID-19 forced the business’s owners, Carolyn and Marc Watson-Paul, to quickly rethink their path to market. 

A new online store was top of the priority list when the duo applied for the grant. However, other challenges quickly emerged, too – including finding a new bottle supplier as its previous supplier was unable to meet demand. A different size bottle required differently-sized labels and boxes – all of which combined to delay the website launch. 

Four months on, however, things are looking up, and the grant money proved a valuable confidence boost. 

“Having to get new bottles was just one more blow,” says Carolyn. “We would have had everything operating a month earlier. 

“The grant money gave us the confidence to hold on to build the website and all of the little things that would support that.”    

If you’re in Tassie, visit the Henry’s Ginger Beer online store and stock up in time for Christmas. You can also connect with them on Twitter @henrygingerbeer.

GOGO Events

COVID-19 restrictions have had a significant impact on many industries, but few more so than the events sector. GOGO Events, a social enterprise that creates paid employment for women at risk of, or experiencing, homelessness, saw a key source of business – large corporate events – disappear overnight. 

The $10,000 grant initially helped keep their team on board, and then rethink how they brought people and ideas together to address societal issues. 

As they couldn’t do it in person, they did it online – tackling the problem of menstrual poverty and the broader stigma of menstruation. 

Investing the grant money into a digital platform to underpin the movement, the Period Revolution began. The website was built and the domain name purchased, and international research around government strategies and period product availability has been undertaken. 

“We’ll be taking everyone in society on this journey with us,” says Founder and CEO Sarah Gunn. “Among other things, success will be businesses adopting that menstrual wellbeing strategy in the workplace.” 

Help get the period revolution started and follow @periodrevolution_au on Instagram and support GOGO Events.

Tap Into Safety

Safety training provider Tap Into Safety invested its grant into developing new safety courses that will ultimately take the business into the US. 

Pre-COVID-19, Tap Into Safety had identified that the vast majority of its content could be applied to the US market – and upon further investigation, a huge opportunity emerged.  The team found there was no online, mobile-friendly microlearning training for blue-collar workers, and so is launching in the States. 

Initially, they’d planned on creating 10 new training videos – they ended up creating 12. In addition to that, they were able to add a whole new layer of training for leaders, managers and supervisors to their existing platform. There are now around 70 courses on the platform – the vast majority of which apply to the US market. 

“When the grant came in, I thought, ‘Yes! That’s going to help us build content on our platform’,” says co-founder Dr Susanne Bahn. “It meant we didn’t have to stop. We didn’t have to worry about reducing staff hours; we could just continue with our plans. We were going to expand into the US in 2021 – instead, we’re doing it now.” 

Keep employees safe with Tap into Safety and connect on LinkedIn.

New course on the Tap into Safety online training platform


ACT-based consulting group Murrimatters helps businesses be more inclusive, and it has put its $10,000 grant towards delivering virtual programs and hiring specialised consultants to help redevelop its programs, too.

Pre-COVID-19, Murrimatters travelled across the country and further afield to facilitate Engoori and Deficit Discourse Programs. The pandemic caused Murrimatters to pivot, and it developed an eLearning tool for businesses that eventually could be expanded into schools to help with inclusion and diversity from an earlier age.

“All of our developments over the course of the past five months were a direct result of the support received from COSBOA and Salesforce,” said Scott Gorringe, Director and Lead Facilitator.

“This initiative has been very important to us in terms of reducing the financial burdens our business experienced overnight.” 

Learn more about Engoori practices with Murrimatters

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Adrian Towsey

After 15 years of consulting to small and medium business, I know how critical the latest technology can be in delivering a competitive advantage and the difference it can make to your success. With the emergence of Cloud Computing along with Mobile, business is faced with its greatest opportunity ever to deliver an unparalleled experience to customers and enjoy new levels of success. Today I am responsible for leading the Commercial Sales Team at Salesforce across ANZ, which means I am invested in the collective growth of the small to medium sized businesses in Australia and New Zealand. Equally passionate about the entrepreneur and startup sector - Ideasboom - which I believe is the future of our economic strength.

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