FINDING Futures general manager Mick Puddy has described his time at the business as a rewarding experience.
The disability employment provider closed its doors on May 9 due to financial pressures.
“We had a board meeting on Thursday, 8 May, and a motion was put forward to fold the next day because of the financial situation,” Mr Puddy said. “We ceased operating from Friday, May 9.”
The organisation lost the federal government tender for disability employment services from March 2013, following the announcement in November 2012.
Mr Puddy said losing the disability employment contract had put hardship on the business and got to a point where it could not turn around.
He said the board initially thought it would close doors in March last year after losing the tender, but decided to pursue operating on a smaller scale.
“We continued for another 12 months after losing the tender.”
He said the property services business had closed and the Christmas Tree Farm was closed and on the market: its two main operations.
“There was emotion in the room when the decision was made. Some were shocked, others accepted the news more readily.
“It was a hard decision because Finding Futures has done wonderful things for the community.”
He said of the 15 staff, eight had a disability. “Four have already been able to secure short-term employment,” he said.
Assets were being sold to ensure creditors were paid.
“We weren’t in a huge amount of debt, but it was at a point where it was too much to come around from.” Mr Puddy said “we had to make some tough decisions, but were always trying to make the best decisions for all involved”.