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July 30, 2009

The Nationals Member for Gippsland Darren Chester will swap his suit for scissors today (Thursday) as part of the Pollies for Small Business promotion.

Mr Chester will spend the morning at Sam and Franks Hairdressers in Morwell where staff will give him a first hand lesson in running a small business.

“Pollies for Small Business is a great initiative that was started in New South Wales and is spreading to other states,” Mr Chester said.

“It encourages Members of Parliament to swap their normal duties for a local small business and gain a better understanding of issues facing local employers.”

Mr Chester, a former President of the Lakes Entrance Business Tourism Association, has been a strong advocate for Gippsland and Latrobe Valley small businesses since he was elected to Parliament last year. He has consistently promoted a ‘putting locals first’ message to encourage local residents to support local businesses.

“Small businesses are the engine room of the regional economy,” Mr Chester said.

“Apart from the ongoing issues of government red tape, the biggest challenge for businesses in Gippsland and the Latrobe Valley will be facing the flow-on impacts of the global financial situation over the next 12 months.

“The success of local businesses is paramount to protecting jobs and ensuring the future economic viability of the region.

 “Putting locals first is a good way to help create jobs in our region and ensure that there are opportunities here for young people in the future.”

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