Tiny Town Refuses to Die After Devastating Fire

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Coonabarabran resident working hard to raise money for a new not-for-profit after January fires leaves town short on time and money.

We need help from outside and we need it now.

Coonabarabran, a small town of 3000 residents, was devastated by fires in January that destroyed 55 houses and hundreds of thousands of acres of farmland and native forest. Three months later and the town is still reeling. A local resident has taken it on herself to create a new not-for-profit to help the businesses and youth of the town.

"This is probably the worst time to try to start a new not-for-profit" Allison Reynolds, founder of the Coonabarabran Business Centre says "The town is tired. Very tired. We have used all of our energy, compassion and cash to ensure those who lost their houses were adequately looked after. Despite that we have to keep a sense of urgency to help the rest of the town."

Yet Allison sees a bigger problem for the town on the horizon. "The main tourist hook for the town has been severely affected, businesses in town are spending less and if we lose more services to other towns then we will be caught in a domino effect. We need to get more doors open in the main street. We need help from outside to make this happen and we need it now."

The startup Coonabarabran Business Centre will use a combination of funded training places for bridging youth between school and employment, and the retail business where the trainees will get hands-on experience, as its business model. The town businesses and residents will benefit from reasonably priced services and a cohort of trained school leavers with work experience.

The new not-for-profit is using crowd-funding through IndieGoGo rather than turning to an already stretched community. Setting a modest target of $5000 they have allowed 30 days to raise the money. Allison explains the goal is to get the the new business up and running as quickly as possible.

"We need to get this place open as soon as possible so the community benefits as quickly as possible."

If you can help the Coonabarabran Business Centre with a contribution, or are interested in finding out more about the fund raising then got to the Project Phoenix page http://igg.me/at/coonabarabran/x/59734

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Allison Reynolds
cbc@coonabarabran.org
61412729756
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