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BUSINESS BRIEFS

National award for Erina finance broker

Astute Ability Finance Group Principal Mhairi MacLeod (c) with Senior Finance Consultant Sue Wilson (l) and Finance Consultant Kirsty Bryson

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Erina based finance brokerage, Astute Ability Group, has beat lawyers, accountants, financial planners and marketing professionals across Australia to take home a win from the Australian Small Business Champion Awards. Astute Ability Group won the ‘Professional Services’ award at an awards ceremony in mid-April at The Westin Sydney, beating 15 other finalists. Mhairi MacLeod, founder and principal of Astute says it is their commitment to building a lasting relationship with clients which won them the trophy. “We took out this award because we have high standards of excellence in the way we communicate with our client base and keep our clients up to date. I think we are unique in the way that we are doing all those things on a regular basis and not just

relying on a ‘fill in a form and we’ll do the business’ approach, but we are actually talking to clients,” she told CCBR. “We are actually building a rapport and having that communication open on all levels – not just at the first point of contact but throughout the whole course of the loan. “It also comes down to their use of technology to make the loan process quick, easy and personal for clients,” she said. While Astute is based at Erina they service clients nationwide. MacLeod also commented that it is also the technology that they use. “We deal with many clients remotely, so we have Skype available. This makes sure our clients still have got that interaction with a human being.” “At the end of the day, a lot of businesses are trying to go completely online and we can actually do that, but we don’t. We prefer for our clients to have the option of being face-to-face, even if they are remote. “We don’t have to be in a major city for customers to come to us and deal with us.” The Australian Small Business Champion Awards is the only national recognition program for Australian small businesses. The program is a way to recognise the efforts of small businesses to the prosperity and vitality of communities across Australia. Central Coast water update As at 23 April Central Coast water storage levels have been boosted to 66.9%. This level not seen since October 1993. Levels have increased by 14,182 million litres or 7% since Sunday 19th April when the storm broke. This amount of water can supply the Central Coast for approximately six months.

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