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RDV helps sweet results for tasty Barwon business


Great Ocean Road Chocolaterie owner Ian NeelandIan and Leanne Neeland were on the verge of starting their new business in Queensland but an approach from RDV’s Geelong Business Centre changed everything. Now business is booming for their Great Ocean Road Chocolaterie and Ice Creamery.

After opening in 2016, Ian and Leanne, now welcomed more than 250,000 hungry visitors. Their business had also achieved its targets including employing almost 100 local staff.

“It’s hard to believe we were about to set up our new venture in Queensland,” Ian said. “We’d picked out a site and were ready to go when we had an approach from RDV.

“They went through our proposal with us and told us what they could do to help. RDV was confident we would qualify for $300,000 from the Victorian Government’s $500 million Regional Jobs and Infrastructure Fund. That was enough to get us over the line and start our $12 million project.

Ian has many positive suggestions for regional businesses considering applying for Victorian Government assistance, including the importance of doing thorough research.

“Look online and talk to the staff at your local RDV Business Centre,” he said. “First you must understand the requirements of the fund you intend to apply for. Then develop a clear, concise written request that supports your project.

“Make sure you back up your vision with facts. Explain what makes it commercially viable, why it is needed in your area and how it will deliver the outcomes necessary to get funding.

“It is also a good idea to discuss your plans with the local council and other relevant government agencies, such as Tourism Victoria, and include everything in your business plan. Above all, if you’re not sure about anything don’t be afraid to ask for help.”

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