Tax Essentials for Small Businesses ATO workshops coming soon.

The Polaris Centre have partnered up with the ATO to run some great workshops for businesses in the region and the first one is:

Tax Essentials for Small Businesses

Are you thinking of starting a business or new to business?

You will learn about:

  • business structures – which is best for you
  • registering your business
  • record keeping –  understanding how to keep track of your business
  • reporting online to save time
  • business life cycles – why they’re important
  • help and more information  – where to go when you need it
  • networking with other new business owners in your area

We will show you how to use our online tools and resources to make things easier.

This will be advertised very soon along with a Record Keeping and Budgeting Workshop – Watch this Space!!!!!

Northern Connector Project Tender: Connecting with industry in the north

Northern Connector Project TenderThe Polaris Centre has actively encouraged Northern Adelaide businesses to register their interest with the final tenders for the Northern Connector Project.  The complete range of work packages have been on the Industry Capability Network website for businesses to register.

To increase the awareness of the opportunities for Northern Adelaide businesses to participate in this major infrastructure project the Leighton / York: Downer Consortium has an information session “Connecting with Industry in the North” on Tuesday 2nd February 2016 at 2pm at the Grand Central, Elizabeth.

Registration via this link:

If you are interested in expressing your interest but unable to attend the industry briefing session please compete an Expression of Interest form on the ICN SA Gateway:

The Polaris Centre is committed to assisting Northern Adelaide businesses position themselves to take advantage of the many Federal, State and Local Government procurement opportunities so if you want assistance please contact the Polaris Centre on 8260 8205 and talk with one of our Advisors.

Northern Adelaide – Your Chance to Meet the Buyers from State and Local Government

Northern Adelaide – Your Chance to Meet the Buyers from State and Local Government

In a boost for northern Adelaide, contracts relating to $93 million of infrastructure spending announced in the 2015-16 State Budget will require a 20 per cent minimum Industry Participation weighting for local jobs.  To assist businesses to access these contracts the Office of the Industry Advocate is hosting a Meet the Buyer from State and Local Government event specifically for the Northern Suburbs Businesses on Friday 12th February 2016 at 1.00pm at Grand Central in Elizabeth.

This event is about exploring opportunities to work with government and councils while recognising the important contribution Northern businesses make to the South Australian economy.

It is also anticipated that tenderers for the Northern Connector will be at this Meet the Buyer event.

Register now at maximise the opportunities for your business in 2016.

Eventbrite - Meet the buyer event

Digital Business Advice for Rural and Regional South Australian Businesses

You need free independent digital business advice for your rural or regional business in South Australia but you can’t get someone to come to you. We know how it is. We’ve worked with hundreds of businesses in metropolitan Adelaide over the past few years but the rural and regional businesses usually come to us. This year during February and March we are going to trial blocking out a time on Monday and Tuesday morning and making it available on a first come first served basis.

If these times don’t suit, don’t worry, give us a call and we can see where we can slot you in to the regular schedule.

How does it work?

The digital business adviser will call you on an agreed number on the day you are booked. He will review your current online presence (if you have one) and give advice on the direction you could take for improvements. This could include reviewing your website, social media and any other online tools or locations you are using. For new businesses, the focus might be on how to purchase a domain name and set up a new website or perhaps focus on your start up online marketing.

Want to come to us instead? No problems…..

Call the Polaris Business and Innovation Centre on 08 8260 8205 to book a time for your meeting with our Digital Business Adviser.

Book now or call Rhys for more information.

Eventbrite - Digital Business Advice for Rural and Regional South Australian Businesses

2016 Northern Business Breakfast Peter Kittle Motor Group Young Entrepreneur Scholarship

4 tips to get the most out of networking events

Have you ever wondered how to get the most out of networking events?  The Polaris Centre runs a wide range of networking events and workshops to enable businesses to grow their business or help in knowledge sharing.

If you own a small business, networking can be an inexpensive way to promote your business. Through networking, you can discover new opportunities, build your customer base and find new suppliers and staff and sometimes even business partners.

Networking is particularly important if you’re running a home based business because it can connect you with peers and help you overcome potential issues associated with being isolated.   Once you begin networking, it’s likely you’ll start to receive invitations to more events from people you meet.  Before you know it, your networking group will be growing.

If you’re too busy to attend lots of events, focus on developing relationships with just 3 or 4 key people. Strengthen your relationship with contacts you have a good rapport with. Consider contacts that might face similar challenges to you and work out how you might be able to help each other.

Here are 4 tips to help you get the most out of networking:

  1. Prioritize what networking events you attend

Think about what you hope to achieve, who you want to meet and why, think about what you offer and this will help with prioritising.

  1. Talking about your business at the networking event 

Before you go to a networking event, think about what you want to say about your business but remember they will also want to tell you about their business.

  1. Business cards

How many times do I go to an event and business don’t bring cards!  It is very important to always have them with you as your business card should reflect your business and ensure you have relevant contact details with your website etc. and don’t push yourself onto people when they ask you give your card and then you can talk about your business this has a greater impact than just handing them out to the thousands.

  1. Follow up after the networking event

This is just as important as taking your business cards to an event – if people have asked you to make contact you should deliver on your promise, whether it’s a phone call or a special offer and then keep in regular contact so you build on your relationship and networks.


2015 was a good year for networking event at the Polaris Centre as we were able to bring some inspirational speakers, digital horizon events helping with upsizing web projects to shopping online, work life balance sessions, business women networking events hearing from women winning Telstra awards to those businesses who started out on a kitchen table to turning over $1m and many more!

For 2016 we are already locking in some great events so if you’re not already on the mailing list get yourself on it by emailing or visit our website at

Business leadership is essential cope with the rate of change in Northern Adelaide

A new generation of transformation leaders will be vital to securing a successful future for the Northern Adelaide region.

Good leadership is more important than it has ever been. In today’s world, the rate of change, ambiguity and complexity requires leaders with the skills to see around corners, be able to innovate to cope with, and adapt to, constant change, as well as being able to bring others along with them. Many leaders are caught unprepared and ill-equipped to deal with the kind of complex changes that they increasingly face in the world around them.

Leaders today need to engage both the head and the heart, develop new adaptive skills and capacities as well as courage, spirit and connection to purpose. This enables them to help others to navigate the conflict, frustration and fear caused by uncertainty. Leaders must also be willing to collaborate with people with very different perspectives, abilities and experiences in order to create innovative solutions. They need to be prepared to take risks and experiment. Self-awareness and strategic foresight capacity are essential. These are not skills that can be acquired from traditional approaches to leadership development that focus on competencies.

To develop these capacities, the Northern Leaders Edge Program will push participants out of their comfort zones, challenge and expand the way they think, the way they view themselves and the way they operate.

In the Northern Leaders Edge program, participants will work on their current leadership challenges – solving their real issues and thus providing an immediate return on investment for their organisation.


What is this program about?

Sponsored by GM Holden, the Northern Leaders Edge program has been designed to give managers and leaders working in Adelaide’s northern suburbs a leading edge. The program is based on the Leaders Institute of SA’s renowned Edge program (now in its eighth year.) This unique program is a powerful way to enhance and accelerate your performance as a leader.

Commencing in February 2016, each carefully selected Northern Leaders Edge group (of no more than 10 participants) will meet monthly, for confidential and structured 3.5 hour leadership development sessions facilitated by a wise, experienced and highly qualified Leadership development expert.

For more information and to get involved see Northern Leaders Edge program or download the flyer

Amazon Web Services and local IT company Comunet to speak at final Digital Horizons event for 2015

We are super pleased to be partnered with Amazon Web Services (AWS) and local AWS partner Comunet to offer a free event on December 2nd. Regardless of if  you are a startup or employing 200 or more employees, your website and online presence is a massive part of your business. So how do you go about choosing your hosting and what happens when you need to get bigger? What choices can you make now that might help you to avoid pain down the track? These are common questions for businesses, small medium or large and we will take a shot at answering some of these, if not all at our next Digital Horizons event.

Mark Ogden, CEO of Comunet will share some local stories as he will be keynoting the event along with Andy Meakin, Regional Sales Manager SA/WA at Amazon Web Services.

Complimentary food and drinks will also be served at this free event.

You can book into the event via Eventbrite. We look forward to seeing you there.

Several manufacturers to invest $46 million on back of grant success

Several northern Adelaide manufacturers have been successful in accessing $19 million in federal manufacturing grants to spur over $46 million in planned investments.

These businesses have won these grants through the Next Generation Manufacturing Investment Programme on merit and will invest at least double the grant amount to grow their business. An example includes Mayne Pharma who is investing $11 million in three machinery equipment pieces from their $4 million grant, which will fuel their rapid export growth.

This is strong indicator businesses have the confidence to invest and the ingenuity to create competitiveness strengths within their businesses. It also shows the how support from the government can stimulate a broad range of investments which will drive both jobs and investment in the manufacturing sector plus in majority of instances brings exports dollars back into our local community.

Successful Applicants

Ahrens Group Pty Ltd (SA) $3,083,487 Establish a flat bottom silo manufacturing operation in South Australia which will custom design, engineer, manufacture and construct ‘larger’ silos using world’s best practice and product and design innovations.
Levett Engineering Pty Ltd $1,632,500 Expand high value manufacturing capacity to meet production volumes required by existing contracts for components of the F35 Joint Strike Fighter and accelerate ability to take up new opportunities across diversified markets.
SA Structural Pty Ltd $1,261,140 Installation and commissioning of a state-of-the-art coping machine to cut steel using the dual thermal processes of high definition plasma, where extreme precision & quality finish is required.  This will replace a manual steel cutting process, and allow the company to diversify and expand its manufacturing capabilities and competitiveness.
Mayfield Industries Pty Ltd $1,414,981 Introduction of new plant and equipment, including the latest in Computer Aided Design and Manufacture (CAD/CAM), and improvements to Enterprise Resource and Material Requirement Planning for the production of Switchboards and Transportable Switchrooms.
Ennio Pty Ltd $2,442,062 Purchase of newly designed, purpose built, high tech textile equipment, increasing the capacity and improving the productivity of manufacturing operations. The company is seeking to increase its price competitiveness and expand its export markets.
Mayne Pharma International Pty Ltd $4,000,000 Increase the existing capacity of the spray coating facility with the purchase of a new fluid bed spray coater, which will be used to apply coatings to medicine. Purchase of three key pieces of machinery:
Spray coating equipment including fluid bed, mixing vessels, feeders, controls, lifting devices, maintenance and cleaning equipment; and tablet coating equipment including the solution tank and tablet loader; and chiller.
BAE Systems Australia Limited $2,479,500 Establish a complex mill turn capability in hard metals (particularly using the super alloy Inconel).  Expand high-value manufacturing activities to encompass engine components for the Joint Strike Fighter, with the potential to access additional market opportunities in aerospace, oil and gas, nuclear and automotive industries.
Stevens Structural Pty Ltd $725,188 Develop a new Advanced Structural Steel Manufacturing Centre to increase workshop efficiencies, increase productivity and capacity and reduce production cycle times at its facility in Edinburgh North. This will involve the purchase of an automatic beam line and a plasma coping robot.
Ezy-Fit Engineering Group Pty Ltd $1,932,850 Through the purchase of CNC turning, machining and measuring equipment, the project will expand the company’s capability to manufacture heavy-duty hydraulic cylinders at its facility in Salisbury South.
MEA Pty Ltd (formerly A.E.M.Corporation Pty Ltd) $550,551 Purchase and installation of two 5-axis milling machines and an upgraded, larger grinding machine in the company’s manufacturing facility in Gillman.
Totals Grants $19,522,259
Total minimum investment across the businesses $46,044,518