The City of Karratha joined the Small Business Friendly Approvals Program delivered by the State Governments Small Business Development Corporation (SBDC) in 2016. This involved signing a charter to commit to work with and support small businesses which currently make up 97% of total businesses in the City of Karratha
In 2019 the City’s Economic Development Strategy was adopted by Council detailing strategic outcomes to be delivered through three focus areas being:
• Small and medium business support;
• Investment attraction and diversification; and
• City investment and partnership.
In line with these focus areas, the City successfully applied to partake in round one of the SBDC’s Small Business Friendly Approval Program by signing a Memorandum of Understanding in December 2020. This Program involves developing and implementing Reforms with the purpose of supporting and removing barriers to small businesses to increase investment and diversification.
In July 2021, Karratha became the first regional local government to commence the Program which included:
• Gathering internal baseline data, including statistics on current approval timeframes;
• Collecting feedback from a sample of local businesses on the City’s performance; and
• Delivering multiple workshops to an internal Working Group comprised of representatives from all departments with knowledge on current processes and regular touchpoints to small businesses.
• Through these workshops the Working Group developed 14 Reforms divided into five Reform Areas. These Reform Areas are:
• Better Information;
• Streamlined Processes;
• Business Concierge;
• Automated Approvals; and
• Delivering the Reforms.