FINANCIAL COUNSELLING PROGRAM
The primary role of the Small Business Financial Counselling Program is to provide assistance to Small Businesses who are experiencing hardship associated with the long standing drought conditions or the impacts of COVID-19, and have no alternative source of impartial support.
The Australian and Queensland Governments provide funding to deliver the program throughout Southern Queensland through the Rural Financial Service Southern Queensland.
Head office is based in Roma, and employs Small Business Financial Counsellors who provide financial counselling assistance across the region.
Our services are:
Free of charge, confidential, impartial and independent,
Delivered by skilled, local professionals who know your area and industry.
Small Business Financial Counsellors are unable to provide advice, but can provide you with the tools and knowledge necessary to make informed financial and business decisions.
If you are drought or COVID-19 impacted and would like to discuss your financial position and become better prepared to manage future challenges, contact one of our Small Business Financial Counsellors (listed below) today or call 1300 732 777.
Hear from a few of our Financial Counsellors about how we can assist you
Small Business Financial Counsellors aim to identify options which see you, and your business better equipped to manage your circumstances.
- Help you negotiate with lenders and creditors
- Confidently assess and prepare reports on your current financial position, cash flow and viability
- Identify appropriate business options, help you develop an action plan
- Help prepare you for meetings with financiers
Help you identify the need for advice from, and to prepare for meetings with, professional service providers from both the private and government sectors
Our SMALL BUSINESS team
Our new Charleville Small Business counsellor, Michelle Gordon grew up in Augathella.
Married to Peter, the couple have three adult children; Cameron is a mechanic in Toowoomba, Emma is a dietitian in Cairns and Elsie is a vet nurse in Darwin.
Michelle and Peter own and operate a smash repair business in Charleville.
With an extensive background in accounting, Michelle has a Bachelor of Business (Accounting) from USQ.
A keen horsewoman and dressage competitor, she is a Pony club instructor, pony club show jumping judge and course building, Michelle has always been one of those supportive Mum's, getting involved in organisations that reflected her children's interests.
Craig Hilton is our Hervey Bay based Small Business Financial Counsellor on the Fraser Coast and services Hervey Bay, Bundaberg and Fraser Island.
Growing up in Brisbane, Craig headed to regional Queensland for work and stayed.
“A parochial Queenslander, I have worked in some great locations including Toowoomba, Gympie, Sunshine Coast, Townsville and Mount Isa – where I met my wife!.”
Craig and his wife and their two teenage daughters enjoy the lifestyle of regional Queensland.
“I’m looking forward to offering Small Businesses in my region some impartial, free support,” Craig said.
“I can assist clients get to a position where they can make productive informed business decisions.”
With 25 years of small business experience predominantly in banking and a Diploma of Banking and Finance, Craig has also operated his own small business for a number of years.
Felicity joins our team after 15 years working in the banking industry.
With strong networks and extensive experience in assisting individuals and small businesses to achieve their financial goals, she is well placed to provide professional empathetic support for the challenges faced by businesses on the Gold Coast.
Originally from Tasmania, Felicity has lived on the Gold Coast for 17 years, and has a strong sense of the community in a region which is experiencing rapid growth.
Making the most of her city, she enjoys both beaches and bushwalking and is currently completing her Diploma of Financial Counselling.
Jodie is based in the Gold Coast Region as a Small Business Financial Counsellor.
Born and raised in Adelaide, Jodie relocated to the Gold Coast 20 years ago, where she now enjoys the coastal lifestyle with her husband Paul.
With 15 years’ experience in the finance industry, predominantly relating to small businesses and the hospitality industry, she enjoys offering independent, impartial support to those who need it most.
With experience running her own small businesses, she knows the challenges this entails together with the rewards/lifestyle it can bring, and has even written a book for people who want to open their own hospitality business.
She looks forward to using her experience in helping local Gold Coast businesses make important decisions for the growth and development of their businesses
Kylie Radford is our Sunshine Coast Small Business Financial Counsellor.
Originally a country girl from Eulo, Kylie grew up on a sheep and cattle property but has called the Sunshine Coast home for twenty years. now.
Kylie is looking forward to assisting small businesses to endure and achieve in challenging times.
She has spent her entire career focused on the financial side of business, including financial and administration management, banking and bookkeeping and has experience and knowledge across many small business industries.
Sharon joined RFCSSQ in June 2020 when Queensland was hurting from the Impact of Covid-19 and set about assisting Small – Medium Business find a path through the pandemic.
"Based in Yeppoon and servicing the Livingstone, Rockhampton Regional, Banana, Gladstone and Central Highlands Shire Councils, there is a bit of area to cover but, I am only a phone call away," Sharon said.
Growing up in Injune, raising a family, running a business, taking on treasurer roles in community groups, and assisting other businesses complete financials and lodgements, it was an obvious transition for Sharon to get into accounting when her family located to Yeppoon.
"Working for a local accountant in the area for 13 years, the urge to help and assist businesses issues and complexities and more importantly the people who run these businesses was satisfied when obtaining the role of Financial Counsellor," she said.
Sharon is passionate about her role, and enjoys empowering and enabling the people she works with.
Caprice and her husband currently live on a family owned cattle property outside of Miles with their 18 month old daughter.
Growing up in a regional area and then spending a few years working and studying in Toowoomba and Brisbane has given her many opportunities to expand her experience and knowledge.
Her background in assisting her family’s small business from a young age and then spending over 10 years managing small real estate businesses has allowed Caprice to have a good understanding of challenges faced by small businesses.
She has completed a Diploma in Agribusiness Management and is a licensed real estate agent with great negotiation skills and marketing experience.
"Small Business owners have a grit about them to succeed, they are solution focussed and regardless of how busy they are, they seem to find time to share their business strategies with other businesses helping them avoid some of the pitfalls they themselves encountered."
Covering the Ipswich, Brisbane and Moreton Bay regions, Joyce Routledge is a relatively new face in the Small Business team, starting with the team in October, 2020.
'I enjoy working with like-minded people who are as enthusiastic as I am about business and finance and enjoy talking about it."
"I like hearing business owners stories."
Joyce is looking forward to continuing to learn from businesses that reach out to the RFCSSQ and considers small business financial counselling a lifeline for business owners.
"Often family and friends perceive a business person as well off and doing well so it can be difficult for the business owner to talk about problems the business is having with friends and family."
The keen traveller values her long term friendships and prides herself on keeping in touch 'the old fashioned way' with phone calls, visits and planned activities.
"I enjoy road trips, audio books and getting out into nature and have been fortunate to live and work in rural remote Australia."
Emma is our Brisbane and Moreton Bay Small Business Financial Counsellor and joined the team in 2020.
"I help small business owners and their creditors find solutions which are in the interest of all parties," Emma said.
"I find it very rewarding witnessing the stress and the burden lift when people share their problems, a problem shared is a problem halved!"