Australian business and political leaders all agree, sale our two million small businesses are the
backbone of our economy; they are the largest employer group and have a major influence
on the economy.
The audience at the Vodafone National Small Business Summit held in Sydney this week, ampoule
heard that there is still a lot of work to be done when it comes to further reforms on tax,
implementation of the Competition Policy Review and continuing to build an environment in
which small businesses can thrive, innovate and do business easily.
International growth and investment for small businesses was a major theme at the Summit,
with encouragement given from industry and government to enter the Asian market and
leverage this opportunity.
The Council of Small Business Australia (COSBOA), who earlier this year celebrated the
positive changes in the budget, stated that they will continue to work with government,
business leaders and ministers on improving legislation and the environment for small
Empowering small business in NSW
In his address on Local Economic Development, The Hon. John Barilaro, Minister for Small
Business, talked about the passion in the sector, the need to empower regional NSW and
the investment required in young entrepreneurs to be our future business leaders.
Mr Barilaro’s belief is that the budget has brought confidence back into the small business
community, however there is still a requirement for small business to apply pressure on the
government. “Small business people have the voice, power and collective that can change
the way government responds”, stated Mr Barilaro.
In closing, Mr Barilaro declared his commitment, “I don’t want small businesses to survive; I
want them to thrive.”
Your experience matters with the ATO
Chris Jordan, Commissioner at the ATO told the audience they had gone far and wide this
year to listen and learn from small businesses. “You told us to fix the basics and make it
easy – especially with our website and the dense documentation – to understand your
circumstances and tailor services; to help you with complexity.”
“You matter and the ATO are committed to providing a better experience for small
businesses” declared Mr Jordan.
The initiatives taken by the ATO include cleaning up the website, updating the search
function and implementing a whole new look and feel including a specific section dedicated
to business. The applications are being improved; new online resources are being
developed and ATO Small Business Contacts have been established in each region.
“We need your ideas and your feedback to make things better for small business. Keep
working with us as this is the only way we will get this right – together,” concluded Mr Jordan.
Big and small business debate the Competition Policy Review
The debate about the fairness and effectiveness of Harper’s Competition Policy Review
continued, and although small and big business agreed on the majority of the 56
recommendations from Harper’s review, they strongly disagreed on Section 46 and the
‘effects test’ that governs the misuse of market power.
Speaking on behalf of the Council of Small Business Australia, CEO, Peter Strong
commented: “Any business that is afraid of the effects test must have a very fragile business
plan. We fully support all aspects of the Competition Policy Review and continue to
recommend implementation of Section 46 to the government and on behalf of small
The consensus from the panel was that a competitive market delivers innovation, flexibility
and customer choice, and is the most efficient way for the economy to operate. Reform is
needed to allow swift action for the misuse of market power.
The Hon. Bill Shorten MP addresses small business leaders
Speaking at the Summit dinner The Hon. Bill Shorten MP, reconfirmed Labor’s
understanding that to build prosperity and growth in the economy it is dependent upon the
success of Australia’s 2 million small businesses. “I took on this portfolio responsibility
because I believe that Labor can do more for small business – and we can do more with
small business. We will do more to help you grow, to innovate and thrive.” said Mr Shorten.
In his speech The Hon. Bill Shorten covered economic policy, taxation, red tape, the budget,
innovation and the effects of these on small business.
Concluding, Mr Shorten commented, “Under my leadership, Labor will always be open to
business. We will always be ready to work together with you to deliver the best outcomes for
our country. For employers and employees, families and communities. Because when small
business succeeds, Australia succeeds. Let us make that shared success our common goal
– and our compass in the years ahead.”
Mental health advocate COSBOA Small Business Champion
The founder of Billie Goat Soap, Leanne Faulkner, was named the 2015 COSBOA Small
Business Champion at the Vodafone National Small Business Summit by Paul Nielsen,
Director & Chair of the Council of Small Business Australia (COSBOA). The Australian
entrepreneur was awarded in recognition for her contribution towards highlighting the
importance of mental health in small business owners.
Mr Nielsen said when awarding Ms Faulkner; “this year in line with the Summit’s theme for
passion and people; we have chosen a winner that is truly extraordinary. She has built a small business from the ground up experiencing both the highs and the lows of what that
entails, and made a huge difference to business people everywhere; Leanne very much
deserves this recognition.”
For more information visit: www.nationalsmallbusinesssummit.com.au