Banyule City council understands the needs of small business. Whether you’re a new or established business, you’ll likely need one or more permits to operate. We know that there’s a lot to consider when starting or changing a business, so we’ve developed a streamlined process. Our Business Concierge Service offers free expertise and advocacy to establish or grow their business in Banyule in order to streamline the permit application process.
Local Business Hencho En Mexico (which translates to made in Mexico) is one of many small businesses that have utilised the Small Business Permit Assist service. The owner Sahil sat down with Banyule’s Business Concierge, Kiku, to share his experience with the process and discuss his first year of business in one of Banyule’s most established food and retail streets.
Congratulations, its’s Been one year since you opened Hencho En Mexico here in Heidelberg, how are you finding business?
When we first opened it was just before the first lockdown and to be honest, we thought it wasn’t going to work. However, the Heidelberg community welcomed us and supported the restaurant. We quickly pivoted our sit-down restaurant to take away only which ended up being great for us as it was somewhat a soft opening.
How did you find the experience of the SBPA process?
We wish we knew about this service earlier as it would have saved us a lot of time. When we did get in touch with the Business Concierge it helped us a lot – Speaking to one person in council who then informed us of the process was great. It saved us talking to multiple people and receiving conflicting information. The business Concierge than guided us through the rest of the process until we opened our doors.
Is there anything you would have like to see come from the process?
Navigating council sometimes can be overwhelming and when you are starting a new business you want things to be done as soon as possible. I think businesses would benefit from a quicker approval process once it is recognised a permit or permits are required. Also, more education to the community that this service is available.
Did you use any council supports in COVID?
We utilised the state government grants as we qualified for some of those. We didn’t apply for local grants at the time. What we will use though is the local Rediscover directory and café barriers that are free from the council.
What are your future plans for Henco En Mexico?
We are in contact with council to get permits for more outdoor dining and shade awnings – in the summer months people like to have one of our popular tequilas and dine in the sun.
Hencho en Mexico is located at 94 Burgundy Street, Heidelberg.