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Digital application replaces 48 paper forms when opening cafe or restaurant

digital technology

Opening a new cafe or restaurant is about to become a lot simpler thanks to digital technology.

Campbelltown Council looks set to enter into a partnership with Service NSW to deliver the Easy to do Business initiative in the Campbelltown local government area.

Easy to do Business aims to streamline the processes of opening a new cafe, restaurant or bar businesses.

Council will vote on the proposal at its next meeting on November 28 when it is expected the proposal will get the green light.

Easy to do Business was initiated by the Department of Premier and Cabinet, the Office of the NSW Small Business Commissioner and Service NSW to encourage investment in small business by bringing together NSW agencies, councils and industry bodies to simplify and fast-track approvals.

Pilot programs were run in other parts of the metropolitan area and Easy to do Business is now being rolled out to other council areas such as Campbelltown.

The business industry sector focus for Campbelltown is initially cafés, restaurant and bars, as this sector has significant economic activity and a high level of regulatory process.

The initiative focuses on helping business owners navigate through various government approvals, with the aim of streamlining the process of opening a new business which can require an owner to deal with 13 agencies (including council), complete 48 forms and navigate 75 regulations.

Service NSW provides a digital platform and upfront information regarding what is required by a potential new business owner from all of the approval authorities, and includes a single digital form which replaces the 48 existing forms.

This digital service is provided free of charge for both council and applicants to use, and does not change council’s existing application and lodgement payment processes.

A business concierge service, via a single phone number, is also provided to support customers through the process.

This means the customer can time-effectively research their regulatory obligations, lodge complete and high quality applications for assessment, as well as be kept informed throughout their end to end journey.

It will also ensure that more complete and quality applications will be submitted to council in the first instance.

A report to council says benefits of the partnership with Services NSW include:

• improved support and a single source of information for businesses in this particular sector;

• reduced duplication, particularly avoiding repeated entry of the same data such as name and address information through the single digital form;

• streamlining of the processes associated with opening and growing a business;

• improved quality of information provided to council, helping to reduce processing and assessment times.

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