Here is a list of suggested actions we have sent to the new Minister for Small Business in the federal government. We think that after a succession of Small Business ministers over many years and successive governments who have done little for the vital sector they serve, it is time for action:
- An urgent review of Fair Work with a view to eliminating casual employee penalty rates in roles sought out by people not looking for full time work. This could cut labour costs for newsagents on Sundays in half.
- A genuine reduction in government red tape. Successive governments have promised this. None has delivered.
- Strengthening laws and processes for ACCC in dealing with unconscionable conduct and unfair treatment of a big business over a small business.
- A government wide campaign to purchase everyday office items from local businesses. Yes, selfish but we should try! We should match with a national pricing offer.
- The introduction of an annual pool of funding for small business start ups with generous tax concessions. They fund films to attract spending here why not businesses?
- Establishment of fixed interest working capital funding for small businesses.
- Development of portable bank accounts and capping loan exit fees – to make switching banks easier.
- Ensuring genuine small business representation at government events, discussions and roundtables – too often politicians of all sides suck up only to the big end of town.
- Focussing on IT by way of tax concessions for 100% Australian owned companies under $10M in annual revenue creating intellectual property in Australia which aids business productivity. Yes this is a selfish idea (I own and IT company) but it is also smart. A stronger IT industry will bring money to our shores, reduce the brain drain and boost business productivity. Get this right and we could deliver more benefits for the economy than mining.
- And to kick start small business and businesses which provide them with equipment and services: a once-off investment allowance in any productivity improving investment such as plant and equipment, knowledge or people.
We have put these thoughts in a letter to the Minister.