Impartial assistance in challenging times

Small Business Support

Support is Free and Confidential - Call Today

Owning and operating a small business can be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life. It will almost certainly be one of the most challenging. 

It calls for a broad range of knowledge, not only about the goods or services you sell, but about managing money. Add to that the skills you need to acquire in marketing, presentation, human resources, negotiating etc. and it's easy to see why most small business owners work long hours and struggle on so many levels. 

Savvy operators seek help when they need it. They pay accountants to oversee their bookwork, they employ designers to help establish their brand, they hire solicitors to handle their legal affairs. That's smart if you know what help you need and where to find it.

But what about basic business principles and planning, how to recognise opportunities and act on them, how to identify threats and prepare for them?
The things you should know but are unaware of? 

That's where we come into it...

  • Gaining a better understanding of their financial position
  • Identifying and exploring options and opportunities 
  • Information on industry programs
  • Identifying and applying for grants
  • Negotiating with lenders/creditors
  • Negotiation with insurers
  • SWOT analysis
  • Referrals to professional services incl. RFCS wellbeing support

Helping Small Business owners with:

Helping to develop
plans/strategies including:

  • Business planning
  • Cash flow budgeting
  • Marketing planning
  • Contingency planning

5 Reasons for calling RFCS VicWest

Whatever financial challenges you are facing, getting support and considering your options as soon as possible is crucial. That’s why we arrange a catch-up at the earliest opportunity. Our wait times are days, not weeks, and our first conversation is usually within 24 hours. In most instances, the counsellor you see first will remain working with you until all your issues are resolved.

5 - Fast Appointments 

We know it's difficult to take time off from a small business so we make appointments in a location and at a time that suits you. It means that you can save time on travel and minimise the interuption to your customers and to your sales. It also gives our counsellor the chance to see your place of business and experience first hand the day to day operations of it. 

4 - We Come to You 

Supporting businesses in rural and regional areas is a core value in the RFCS strategic plan. It's not only words on paper though, our counsellors want to see businesses thrive in the region they live in because they know they are an important part of a healthy community. It's why our people on the ground take such pride in their work, and why you can expect sincere and robust support from them. 

3 - Local Connection

Our small business financial counsellors have either been small business operators themselves or have a financial management background. They draw on their knowledge, experience and professional networks to help you understand your position, consider all options, make informed decisions and develop a strategy to help you take control of your business and financial  future. 

2 - Proven Experience

RFCS VicWest is funded through State and Federal Government Grants, donations and philanthropic contributions. It allows us to offer our services for free, and independently of outside interests.

We are bound by client confidentiality by Law, so you don’t have to worry about others finding out about your personal affairs.

1 - Free | Independent | Confidential


Your small business needs to be located within the area we service. Check the map to see the shires included in our catchment. 


ABN Registered
You need to have a registered business with the Australian Tax Office.


If you’re a small business owner with less than 19 employees and facing financial challenges, you are likely eligible for our free support.

In some instances where we can’t assist directly, we will refer you to a service provider who can. A quick call to us in the first instance is it all it takes to confirm. In saying that, there are a couple of basic requirements you need to fulfil for RFCS support:


What's the criteria?



“John's amazing. He's always available for help. He explained about how to get the support [a grant] and he helped me with the application as well - he gave me some ideas and I got it!

John was so helpful. I will never forget this amazing service."


“I had a lot of difficulties. He [John] has helped me with the Covid Safe plan and he's helping me to find good staff.

I would highly recommend RFCS to other business owners like me. ."

“I think soon after I contacted the service I realised what support the counsellor was being for me."

"I was concerned contacting the service [about my] pride, but the counsellor was fantastic. She was extremely supportive, she was a farmer herself…”


Meet the Team

Kerrie O'Brien
Financial Counsellor

Bendigo-Swan Hill

Chris Young
Financial Counsellor


Shane Annett
Financial Counsellor

Shane Dean
Financial Counsellor

Great South Coast

Caius Ryan
Financial Counsellor

Central Highlands