THE first Northern business connected to the taxpayer's $1 million Sirolli Institute project opened its doors last week.
The Pipers River Tea Garden and Crafts received ongoing assistance from the Scottsdale and George Town Sirolli enterprise group Ripples North East.
The enterprise was one of three that was formed to assist regions that were struggling after the forest industry downturn.
The main aim of the grassroots Sirolli concept is to connect people who have a business idea with other people who may be able to assist them in starting up.
Tea garden owner Karen Irvine said the Scottsdale and George Town enterprise facilitator Victoria Pullen provided her with continued guidance.
Mrs Irvine said she and her family received marketing, social media, and barista training.
Mrs Pullen said this help would be ongoing.
"They are really lucky. They have a good team in place, their daughter is the financial manager and she has a banking background, and they have a really good product team," Mrs Pullen said.
"We talked to her about the trinity of management and the importance of having a good team.
"It is about giving them support, so they know that they are not on their own."
A $25,000 evaluation report into the two-year pilot Sirolli project is expected early next year.