Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke MP was in Junee on Monday, checking in on local small businesses as part of October Small Business Month.

Ms Cooke said NSW Small Business Month, which runs from October 1 to October 31, was a fantastic opportunity for local firms and entrepreneurs to come together to celebrate the contribution of small businesses to the economy and to learn from each other.

“For over a decade I was a small business woman myself, so I know just how much passion and hard work is poured into the Cootamundra electorate’s thousands of businesses,” Ms Cooke said.

“This month is about celebrating the state’s 736,000 small to medium-sized businesses that make up almost half of our entire workforce.”

Natalie Phillips, who owns the Crossing Motel and Roundhouse Restaurant in Junee with husband and chef Michael, said their business is going strong.

Currently, they’re full to the brim with bookings for Temora’s upcoming Warbirds Down Under event, as well as workers from the ongoing Junee Correctional Central expansion, the expansion of Junee’s abattoir and construction work at St Joseph’s School.

“At the moment a Riverina Rail Tours coach has us totally booked us out. We get coach groups, car clubs… we’re flat out at this time of year,” Ms Phillips said.

While this year has been quieter than usual, it hasn’t stopped the business from growing. They have recently completed an extension, are installing a new hot water system, retiling their bathrooms and putting down new flooring in the rooms.

Ms Cooke said small businesses are the backbone of our regional towns and villages.

“It’s just so fantastic to see our local small businesses like the Crossing Motel benefiting from NSW Government infrastructure investments,” she said.

Across the electorate a number of events are being held by Councils as part of Small Business Month.

“I encourage all business owners and anyone thinking about starting a business to visit the event website businessmonth.nsw.gov.au and get involved,” Ms Cooke added.