Business opportunities and resources

Find a list of projects, working groups, information and resources related to a range of businesses in Nillumbik.

To find out about business opportunities as they arise, join the Business in Nillumbik Facebook group.

You can also stay up-to-date by signing up for the Business in Nillumbik eNewsletter.

Fact sheets to help you start your business

As part of the Better Approvals Permit Process, these new fact sheets provide clear and concise information on what permits you may need before you are able to start your business – saving you time and resources.

Each fact sheet focuses on the requirements of the different laws that could be relevant to you.

Fact sheet - Food Business(PDF, 212KB)

Fact sheet - Building Permit(PDF, 126KB)

Fact sheet - Footpath Trading(PDF, 148KB)

(PDF, 148KB)Fact sheet - Health and Beauty(PDF, 184KB)

Fact sheet - Planning Permit(PDF, 199KB)


Home based business expo

Are you a Nillumbik based home business?

On Wednesday 16 November, Nillumbik Shire Council will be hosting a home based business expo at the Eltham Community and Reception Centre.   We are currently seeking expressions of interest from a diverse range of Nillumbik based home businesses to host a stall at the event where you can sell or promote your products or services.

There will be 2 parts to the expo with an afternoon seminar program available for stallholders to attend.  The seminar will feature speakers from relevant organisations who work with or support home based businesses, followed by a market event which will be open and ‘free’ of charge to the general public.


Wednesday 16 November


Eltham Community and Reception Centre – 801 Main Road Eltham

Seminar Program

2:00pm – 4:00pm


5:00pm – 9:00pm

Complete your expression of interest here.

Expressions of interest will be open for the month of August and once closed, we will be in touch with successful stall holders.  A detailed overview of the seminar program will also be shared at this time. 

Shop in our Shire marketing assets


Now your local business can join the Shop in our Shire campaign by accessing a range of downloadable promotional assets to include in your local marketing campaign.

Choose assets relevant to your local area and include them in your socials, print and website design.

Simply complete the form to request access to the assets.

For more information, contact our Economic Development and Tourism Team.


Phone: 03 9433 3111

Request here

Future of Agriculture in Nillumbik

On Tuesday 24 May 2022, Council at its Ordinary Council Meeting were presented with an action plan that seeks to celebrate our agriculture and enhances discussions with business to retain, sustain and improve the future of agriculture in Nillumbik, taking into consideration geographic, environmental, economic and social trends and demands.

Council resolved as follows:

That Council:

  1. Endorses the Future of Agriculture in Nillumbik Action Plan (Attached below) subject to the removal of Objective 5.
  2. Requests Officers to begin implementation of the Action Plan from July 2022.
  3. Requests that Officers provide a copy of the Action Plan on Council’s website.
  4. Requests that Officers provide an annual update on the Action Plan as part of the Economic Development Strategy.
  5. Requests that Officers notify submitters to the Future of Agriculture project of Council’s resolution.

The meeting minutes and Council’s resolution on the item have been published on Council’s website which are also attached on this page.

From here, Council officers will commence delivering the action plan. The action plan generated from research paper focuses on three objective areas:

  1. Protect, promote and support sustainable, regenerative agriculture and local food systems in the Shire for greater climate resilience and adaptation in the broader community;
  2. Investigate and advocate for diverse, innovative farming systems that foster ecological responsible economic development, local employment, circular resource use and local food systems and security;
  3. Support a vibrant, connected local agricultural community through peer to peer networks, targeted education programs, market access, innovative and active open communication between Council and the agricultural community.

The Future of Agriculture in Nillumbik Action Plan(PDF, 720KB)

Future of Agriculture in Nillumbik Consultant Report(PDF, 3MB)

Council Meeting Minutes - 24 May 2022(PDF, 864KB)

Nillumbik Business Kit

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Your guide to Business in Nillumbik toolkit has been designed to help businesses navigate the many areas of Council that are involved when starting or growing a business.

The Kit introduces Council's business support program and ways for local businesses to connect and network. Find out about local business associations, grants and funding, marketing opportunities and more. The Kit also explains regulatory requirements such as permits and registrations that may apply to businesses operating in Nillumbik.

Download a copy of the Nillumbik Business Toolkit(PDF, 1MB)

Free promotion on social media for Nillumbik businesses

Live, work, play and shop in Nillumbik

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We’re inviting people to experience the very best of the region with a range of weekly giveaways of unique and special experiences are on offer via @VisitNillumbik on Facebook and Instagram.

A ‘Shop in our Shire’ campaign is also under way, that encourages residents to buy local this winter. From clothing to homewares, cafes and restaurants to a range of different services, everything you need is right here in our Shire.

Shop in our Shire puts the spotlight on local businesses and their online presence. We’ll be promoting your social media accounts and supporting you to continue to offer online shopping options, which many businesses explored for the first time when the pandemic hit.

Interested? If you're a Nillumbik-based businesses who would like to be promoted for free on our @VisitNillumbik Facebook and Instagram social media pages:

Complete the online form

This opportunity is ongoing and will remain active until further notice.

Creative Industries Business Education Program

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Council is offering local creative businesses free access to the Creative Industries Business Education Program.

Developed specifically for the local industry by Monica Davidson, Director of Creative Plus Business, the program offers a series of six webinars, with accompanying resources, designed to assist creative businesses to recognise and operate a best practice business. 

The topics included in this program are:

  • Getting Started
  • Planning for Creative Success
  • Making Money Work
  • Innovation and Ideas
  • Understanding the Market
  • Promoting your Creative Business

Monica Davidson is an award-winning expert on the creative industries, who has infamously never had a ‘proper job’. She began her creative life as a freelance journalist and filmmaker before starting a production company in the early 1990s. Her experience highlighted how unprepared creative people can be for a life of entrepreneurship. 

Read Monica's Full Bio

The modules can be completed at your own pace with unlimited access to the program until June 2023.

Access and register for the program

Nillumbik Grants Hub

Open to all local community groups, businesses, not-for-profits and individuals seeking funding to deliver projects and initiatives for the Nillumbik community.

Nillumbik Grants Hub can be used to:

  • Search for grants and funding from a variety of sources
  • Save a list of 'favourite' grants to a shortlist
  • Subscribe for email alerts and receive email notifications about new funding opportunities
  • Prioritise and track your grant applications
  • Find advice and top tips to maximise your chances of receiving the funding you need

This service is free - no cost involved.

Nillumbik Grant Website


Local business associations

Nillumbik has a range of industry groups and networks who support new and existing business. We also work with a number of associations across the Shire who we encourage businesses to engage with. 

Banyule Nillumbik Local Learning & Employment Network (BNLLEN) 


Diamond Creek Traders Association

Eltham Chamber of Commerce and Industry


Hurstbridge Traders Association

Local Food Connect

Melbourne Innovation Centre

Nillumbik Tourism and Business



Yarra Ranges Tourism

Please note the details for groups are subject to change. If you have trouble contacting any of them, please contact

Information for Family Businesses - Family Business Australia

Family Business Ten Tips for a successful family business

More than 70 per cent of all businesses in Australia are owned and operated by families, including some of Australia’s most loved brands. These businesses are in the difficult position of mixing business with their personal life, so it’s not surprising that sometimes it can go spectacularly wrong. 

The following are Ten Tips to help your family business grow and thrive!

1.           Establish a Family Council for the business owning family. This is a group that meets to focus on family expectations of the business. It helps to ensure that the views of all members of the family are heard, and any issues addressed.

2.           Create a family charter. Also known as a code of conduct, or constitution, the family charter outlines what is and is not appropriate practices for family members working in the business.

3.           Set position descriptions and key performance indicators for all members of staff, including family members. Setting clear roles, responsibilities and measures for each family member will help avoid disputes about performance and remuneration, like any other employee.

4.           Establish a succession plan. If succession is planned, documenting the plan will dramatically improve the transition from one generation to the next. Even if handing the business over to the next generation isn’t the plan, developing a plan for what will happen, and sharing it, will help avoid future disputes.

5.           Create an entry plan. Hiring a family member for a role they are not qualified for is never a good idea. Create a set of criteria or achievements family members must fulfil before taking a role in the family company. Experience gained from outside businesses can equip a family member with valuable insights.

6.           Ensure there is a will or estate plan. It may be difficult, but always prepare for the worst. Outline how the family estate will be divided should something unexpected happen; it will help avoid bitter disputes between siblings.

7.           Be proactive to resolve disputes. Don’t hesitate to establish a process or engage outside help should business and family relationships start to sour. If you wait too long, both the business and the family relationships suffer.

8.           If your business has a formal Board appoint one or more independent non-executive directors. Independent non-executives bring outside experience and perspectives to the board, and can fill skill gaps in the family.

9.           Avoid the courts at all costs. Try and settle disputes before they reach the point of needing legal counsel. The very nature of the court system is adversarial, pitting one family member against the other. It almost always damages the family relationship and has negative impacts on the business.

10.         Leverage your family business status in your marketing and branding. The 2019 Edelman Trust Barometer highlighted that 75% of consumers globally trust family businesses over non family businesses. The same report highlighted that only 52% of consumers were aware of ownership of businesses they buy from. Using the “A family owned Australian business” emblem in your marketing, packaging etc is the easiest way to highlight your status as a family owned business to Australian consumers.

About FBA

Family Business Australia (FBA) purpose is to help family businesses succeed. They do this by assisting family businesses harness their unique competitive advantage. Leveraging ‘family business’ as an asset is what truly sets our members apart from their competition and FBA has been successfully helping family business along that path for the past 20 years!

Find out more at or call their Membership Team on 1800 249 357 or email

Making your business accessible

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Do you know the impact that people with access challenges can have on your bottom line?

Make your business accessible to the widest possible market reap the benefits and opportunities in this expanding market.

Whether you have a shop, café, restaurant, accommodation or office based service, there are many ‘hints and tips’ that you can apply to expand your business reach and attract and keep return customers. 

Download the factsheet Access for all(PDF, 2MB)

Translation services

The Victorian Small Business Commission (VSBC) have established some great new resources in regard to a suite of translated digital resources via their Languages web page.

The resources can explain how we can help small businesses who are in dispute with another business or government service, and what they need to know before they sign a retail lease.

VSBC website