Building Better Business in St Arnaud


Impacted by flooding during 2021 and more recently in October 2022, St Arnaud Businesses are being provided with an opportunity through Community Recovery Hub funding to identify ways to increase their resilience when a disaster strikes. Northern Grampians Shire Council have engaged Resilient Ready to collaborate with St Arnaud business owners to identify common goals and opportunities to increase knowledge and capabilities in: 

  • business sustainability
  • disaster preparedness
  • social capital 

From September 2023 to March 2024, Resilient Ready worked closely with local businesses, Northern Grampians Shire Council and other key stakeholders to develop a two-year strategic action plan for Napier Street businesses.

The project involved:

  • Conducting interviews with non-business stakeholders such as emergency services and community groups (October - November 2023).
  • Holding a project launch event (27 November 2023) with business owners and non-business stakeholders.
  • Conducting individual discussions with all Napier Street businesspeople (28 November - 1 December 2023).
  • The development of a 'Findings Report' and two-year action plan (February - March 2024).

Check out the one-page summary of the project steps and what's next here.(PDF, 236KB)

Project Findings

The information gathered throughout the project through interviews and workshops has been collated and organised into the three key areas of disaster resilience, connections and social capital, and business viability.

The comprehensive findings are available in the final report titled: Building Better Business in St Arnaud - A Business Community Resilience Roadmap for a thriving St Arnaud. (PDF, 16MB)

Project recommendations

The main recommendation from this project is that Sr Arnaud businesses are encouraged to form a group that meets regularly. It’s expected that by focusing first on strengthening social capital, business will do better economically and in emergency events as a result. By forming a group, there will be:

  • Improved communication and coordination among businesses and with external stakeholders.
  • An effective platform for both advocacy, consultation and planning, particularly for emergency management.
  • Spread of knowledge, skills and capacity across the business community e.g. peer-to-peer learning.
  • Practical projects achieved such as seasonal campaigns, new business welcome pack.
  • Greater support for new businesses to find their feet and flourish.
  • Trust, authenticity and integrity cultivated among the business community.
  • Collective effort and involvement in areas such as high-street presentation, campaigns etc.
  • Accelerated additional outcomes in all areas of economic, disaster and social resilience.

The details of how the outcomes will be achieved are outlined in the final report titled Building Better Business in St Arnaud.(PDF, 16MB)

Next steps 

Resilient Ready staff will engage with the self-nominated business champions to provide support as they set up their alliance and begin their monthly catch ups. Initial support will focus on establishing a group structure, grant funding opportunities, support for the Christmas campaign and opportunities to improve disaster resilience.  

Funding Partners 

The Building Better Business in St Arnaud Project is generously funded by the Victorian Government and Commonwealth Government under the Commonwealth-State Disaster Recovery Funding arrangements (DFRA) through Emergency Recovery Victoria’s Community Recovery Hub Program.

Recovery - October 2022 Floods 

Recovery is the process of coming to terms with the impacts of a disaster and managing the disruptions and changes caused, which can result for some people in a new way of living.

Recovery work refers to the decisions and actions taken after a disaster with a view to restoring or improving pre-disaster living conditions; this includes encouraging and facilitating necessary changes to reduce the risks to future disasters. 

You can find information on other activities and programs supporting local communities to recover after the October 2022 Floods on the Recovery - October 2022 Floods page.