COSBOA is a fiercely independent association that is solely focused on good policy for small businesses in Australia. We don’t care who is fighting for small business. Blue, red, green, orange or purple – we will praise policies that are good for small business and criticize those that aren’t.
So, what do we do when someone comes along and forms a Small Business Party – one that is solely dedicated to advancing policies that benefit small business in Australia?
Historically, we have found that the people seeking to form a small business political party were not successful. Not because they weren’t good or clever people, but more because it is such a hard thing to do and they eventually moved on. As we all know in small business, when you give up or your heart isn’t in it you get found out and you generally fail.
These people also tended to be promising good things for small business in the future - as opposed to having already done them in the past, they had no track record.
Enter Angela Vithoulkas (pronounced Vith-ool-kis) and the new Small Business Party – a nationally registered party that is running candidates in the NSW election to be held on 23 March 2019.So, given our past caution in supporting individual parties, should we support this one?
We should! And we will.
First, this party is uniquely and unequivocally dedicated to small business - there is no other agenda. The founder of the party, Angela Vithoulkas, is as genuine as they come. Like us, Angela has lived small business issues. Angela has run her own business for many many years, has employed people, has trained them, has kept on smiling in the face of rude customers, knows all about burning the night oil on business red tape and compliance reporting.
But secondly, and far more importantly, Angela and her Small Business Party come to politics with a proven history of fighting for small business. And winning.
Angela has led the high-profile charge in seeking compensation for all the small businesses that have been harmed by the Sydney Light Rail Project. Instead of just surrendering when her well-known café in George St Sydney was forced to the wall by the construction of the Sydney light rail project, Angela fought back and is spearheading political and legal action to help all those small businesses that have suffered as a result of the Sydney light rail debacle.
Angela also took up the charge for the businesses affected by the Wynyard Place redevelopment, a project that resulted in the diversion of 40,000 customers per day away from businesses located along the Hunter to Wynyard tunnel. Angela helped these businesses secure 12 months free rent as compensation for the impact on customer numbers, with provision for further compensation to be considered on a merit’s basis.
But Angela’s work for small business isn’t just city based. Angela was recently made aware of a project on the NSW North Coast involving the head contractor working on a multi-million-dollar upgrade of the Pacific Highway between Woolgoolga and Ballina. The head contractor went into liquidation owing $7.5M to a number of small businesses on the NSW North Coast – and then phoenixed their business in Queensland without consequence while the local businesses were left without a cent in compensation.
Long story short, Angela lobbied the NSW Government and ultimately secured $7.5M in compensation for all the small businesses that were owed money. Yes, that is right – Angela helped these businesses get every cent back, every cent.
We can’t think of another person who has come to politics with stronger small business credentials. Angela and her team just don’t talk small business – they live and breathe it.
We can’t think of anything better than having a true warrior for small business (and her friends) fighting for the rights of small business in the next NSW Parliament.
Imagine an upper house where a small business party has the balance of power. Just imagine.
We are supporting them and suggest that you should take a closer look too.