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CBD support

CBD support

for disrupted

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Assisting small businesses located in the CBD of Newcastle NSW to take advantage of the new light rail.

You only pay $0

Program value $Fully Subsidised

Free business advice, through the NSW Government's Business Connect program.


How It Works

At no cost to businesses, this program has been tailored to assist businesses in the CDB of Newcastle who have been disrupted by the light rail construction. Our Business Advisors are able to meet you at your premises or you can visit our offices in Newcastle West.

How It Works

This free service will help you identify your unique challenges and apply specific strategies. You will receive:

  • Free advice

    Unlimited hours of 1:1 of support with one of our Advisors.

  • Strategic Framework

    We will introduce you to the disruption action plan and our strategic toolkit.

  • Tailored Service

    We work with you to identify your unique challenges and apply specific strategies to assist.

  • We work with you

    Visit us or we can come to you.


Maria O'Brien is dedicated to supporting business in the CBD of Newcastle. Having spent more than 30 years living in Newcastle, she has seen and experienced the changes in the Newcastle area infrastructure, particularly in the CBD. Maria’s passion for local businesses and her practical approach to troubleshooting problems benefits advancing business through strategic thinking.

Maria O'Brien
Maria O'Brien Business Advisor

A wealth of experience and passion for local businesses


Under Business Connect, this program is fully funded and supported by the NSW Department of Industry. Business Connect is a dedicated and personalised NSW Government program that provides trusted advice to help you start or grow your business. Save yourself the paperwork and register online.

Register for Business Connect here.


Business Connect



Cheryl Pollock Founder of ChezLeon

At 64, Cheryl Pollock never expected to be a medical entrepreneur on the cusp of taking her game-changing product to the world. Nor did she plan to give away her job to focus on ChezLeon, the passive massage wear she designed to help those suffering lymphedema or edema – the blockage of lymph vessels which leads to excessive fluid retention. It can occur after cancer treatment and affects 45 million people globally. “I had no idea the journey I was going to go on – it’s pushed me to expand myself a lot,” says the modest Waratah resident. Ms Pollock has patents for ChezLeon in Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and Europe, with the UK and US in the offing, and needs seed funding to get it to market. Her entrepreneurial journey began in 2009, when she was diagnosed with cervical cancer. Ms Pollock, who studied mechanical drawing and engineering at TAFE and has wide experience in engineering and building, had a total hysterectomy and the lymph nodes in her groin removed. Seven years later, she has developed an insert with bubbles that discreetly massages the body and may assist breast cancer patients but also those with all types of cancer, lymphoedema and edema. “I had to do a fair bit of testing out prior to be able to get anyone to acknowledge I was on to something,” she says, adding that a $60,000 federal government grant was crucial in assisting her product development, so too advice from The Business Centre in Newcastle. ChezLeon’s first product is a bra insert for breast cancer patients and there are plans for inserts for other body areas. Ms Pollock says the people she assists keep her motivated to continue on her journey. “What I have realised is that whatever you do in life, all the ups and downs, is an accumulation of a wealth of knowledge and experience that can and should be utilised to benefit society and help grow yourself,” she says. “Life is about the evolution of yourself, society, the planet and the universe. “I have had a lot of knocks, obstacles as well as opportunities and it’s the accumulation of all that that gave me the skills to do what I have done and take on the challenge to see this through to fruition.” ChezLeon Passive Massage Wear is on Facebook. Source: Newcastle Herald, 26 March 2018, Penelope Green.

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