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NSW wine businesses to benefit from new skills program

Small businesses operating in New South Wales' $1.5 billion wine industry will benefit from a new Government specialist skills development and mentoring program, the NSW Minister for Small Business, Peter Primrose, announced yesterday during NSW Wine Week. Primrose said the 'Building a profitable, sustainable wine business skills' program, which will begin in May, was tailored for small businesses in the state’s wine industry to help meet current market challenges. “Many wineries and supporting operations in NSW are small, family-owned businesses, which are the target for this new program,” he said. “These businesses make an important contribution to the state’s economy – employing about 19,000 people in vineyards, wineries, wholesaling, and support operations, including some 6000 casual staff. “The new program, which is tailored to the wine industry, is one of the NSW Government’s 'Stepping Up' business skills development programs. “The program runs over two days with workshops on current business issues such as building better business models, understanding the business’s profit formula, managing innovation and building direct relationships with consumers using new technology. “Mentoring forms a key part of the program – participants are matched with a more experienced business owner, who will provide advice on how to overcome hurdles and pursue new opportunities or markets.” Primrose said the program was an opportunity for wine producers to develop the skills that will enable them to face the challenges of running a small business in a changing marketplace. “The national wine industry is facing many challenges at the moment, including supply and demand fluctuations, international competition and poor sales within our own state,” he said. “In fact, NSW wines still only represent 7.3% of total bottled wine sales in our state, while in South Australian drinking habits are closer to home with 38% of bottled wine sold there coming from their own state. “The NSW Wine Strategy [extended this week until 2012] aims to build awareness and support for NSW wine and has seen the implementation of a range of initiatives including NSW Wine Week. “Neilsen data provided to the NSW Wine Industry Association shows the strategy appears to be working with off-premise sales of NSW bottled wine growing by $16.8 million in NSW since the strategy was launched in February 2008.” Visit www.winebusinesssolutions.com.au for more information or email

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