The Hills Shire Council has partnered with Service NSW to facilitate the Easy to Do Business Program which aims to make NSW the easiest place to do business.
The program is a win for small business owners in The Hills, presenting a transformational approach to customer experience and job creation.
On average Easy to do Business has helped cafés open up to two months faster, a restaurant up to four months faster, or a small bar up to 6 months faster.
This joint initiative of the Office of the NSW Small Business Commissioner, Service NSW and Better Regulation and brings all 3 levels of government together to streamline the process of government licensing and approvals for small businesses.
Benefits of the program
Easy To Do Business provides customers with all the regulatory information they need in one location through Business Concierge, How-to Guides and the Online Dashboard features.
The Business Concierge feature of the program provides free, personalised support and step-by-step guidance to small business owners in all industries over the phone and via email.
As a result of The Hills Shire Council joining the Easy To Do Business Program, small business owners in The Hills also have the option to lodge a Development Application through Business Concierge.
The Business Concierge will then work with the small business owner and council to get the DA lodgement ready.
Other services the Business Concierge can offer include help with registering for GST or an ABN, applying for a small business grant and reviewing a range of applications such as construction certificate, outdoor dining, on-premise liquor license and much more.
The Online Dashboard gives customers the opportunity to track their business progress and see what steps they need to take next.
This feature is available for café, restaurant and small bar owners, as well as tradies and builders, and allows them to create a personalised dashboard with direct links to the regulations, permits, licences, and certifications required to open, run or grow a small business.
How-to guides are also available for café, restaurant and small bar owners, tradies, builders, road freight, clothing retail and print services.
Development Applications - when do you need one?
Are you about to buy a business property or sign a lease? Perhaps you're moving to a new premises? You may need to check with Council to find out if what you're planning to do is allowable.
You may need to submit a Development Application (DA) to Council before you build something new, change the way a premises is used, demolish a building, install advertising or make alterations.
Understanding when a DA is needed
How do you know whether or not you will need to submit a DA? Is what you're planning to do considered an 'exempt' or 'complying' development?
A wealth of information can be found on Council's website at www.thehills.nsw.gov.au under the 'Building' tab - particularly in the 'Development Approvals' section.
But perhaps the most efficient way to understand what's involved in changing or relocating your business is to talk to one of Council's Duty Planners first.
Understanding the process and sorting out any potential issues up front will help to smooth the way if you find you do need to submit a Development Application.
Duty Planners are here to help
Development Applications may be needed to assess your plans and information, inspect your property and determine whether your proposal is appropriate.
Council can ensure that your proposal:
- Is a permissible and appropriate use of the site according to its zoning;
- Complies with the provisions of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979;
- Complies with the land-use activity;
- Complies with any Development Control Plans applicable;
- Has no detrimental visual impact upon a locality;
- Has no adverse impact upon occupants of adjacent properties.
Discussing your plans and ideas with a Duty Planner, or organising a Development Application pre-lodgement meeting, can help to clarify what you need to do, or save you from spending hours on something you don't need to do.
Make an appointment
Duty Planners specialise in understanding when a Development Application is needed. To make the appointment, simply call Council's Customer Service Centre on 9843 0555 and ask to speak with the Duty Planner.
If you do need to submit a Development Application, the Duty Planner will arrange to meet with you before you lodge your application (called a pre-lodgement meeting), and work through any issues before you begin.
Tracking your application
Council offers a 'DA tracking' online tool that allows you to track your application through each step.
You can find this by visiting Council's website www.thehills.nsw.gov.au, selecting the 'Building and Planning' and clicking on Application Tracking. The system allows you to see exactly where your DA is up to, view and download documents and is available 24/7.