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News : Southern Phone Launches New Community Grants
Nov 12, 2014 — Moruya-based telecommunications provider Southern Phone Company has launched a new community grants program.
Eurobodalla Shire Council is one of the company’s 41 shareholder councils which will share in the grant, equating to about $25,000 for the local community.
This is in addition to the annual dividend Southern Phone distributes to the council to spend how it sees fit.
Southern Phone managing director Mark Warren said the additional funds were taken from the company’s marketing budget in a bid to better engage with the community.
"We’d been giving lots of money to the community, and we’re not sure that the community has understood that, and we’re not sure we’ve done a really good job of sharing that information ourselves," he said.
"We thought one of the ways we can elevate everybody’s understanding was to dip into our marketing budget, and rather than spend it on catalogues, we spend it on community grants.
"It gives us a better vehicle to engage with the community and share our story."
Preferred beneficiaries will be legally constituted, not-for-profit, non-political and non-advocacy community groups or organisations.
Eurobodalla Shire Council will be responsible for collating nominations and submitting the grant application to Southern Phone, which it will then review.
Southern Phone employs 135 people at its Moruya head office and call centre, but Mr Warren hopes this will be duplicated within the next five years based on its ongoing success.
Bega MP Andrew Constance visited the centre on Friday at the invitation of Mr Warren, to find out more about the company’s initiatives.
Mr Constance said as the annual dividend provided by Southern Phone to councils was distributed based on the numbers of customers in each local government area, the more people in the shire who took up with the company the better.
"If more people take up Southern Phone, which was established through local government to generate jobs, the better it is in terms of local jobs, and secondly in terms of the return back to local government for better community infrastructure and services," Mr Constance said.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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Published: Friday, November 14, 2014