COSBOA commends the Queensland Government on making the role of Small Business Commissioner permanent. The state government budget announced yesterday includes $10 million in funding for the role, currently held by Maree Adshead, as well as funding for a ‘Big Plans for Small Business’ strategy.
COSBOA Interim CEO Alexi Boyd said “Queensland small businesses are very fortunate to have Maree Adshead as their advocate. She’s done a great job transforming from Small Business Champion to Small Business Commissioner during the COVID-19 Pandemic and all of COSBOA’s encounters with her have been positive. It’s clear she gets small business and wants to help small business people succeed in their journeys.”
Ms Boyd added “Our state small business commissioners play such an important role in providing mediation and advice. While the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman is excellent and necessary, many of the issues affecting small businesses are state-based, including disputes between commercial landlords and tenants; COVID-19 rules and restrictions; occupational and professional licensing; payroll tax and other state-based taxes, fees and charges; and many more.”
“During COVID-19, the state commissioners and their teams have really stepped up. When we ask COSBOA members what they think about usefulness of government resources and quality of government consultation, the state small business commissioners and ASBFEO are often singled out as being particularly helpful and sincere.”
There are also promising indications from the Queensland Government regarding support for skills development and business investment and growth, including innovative and new businesses.
Ms Boyd said “We’re also pleased to see Queensland addressing skills and investment for small business in its budget. However, there isn’t enough detail for us to comment on the usefulness of the programs they’ve announced just yet. We’ll be watching to see how they pan out.”
Ms Boyd added “In all of the excitement about training, up-skilling, and innovation we tend to forget the importance of unskilled jobs. Many small businesses, particularly in regional areas, are struggling to find staff – and it’s primarily unskilled workers they want. This is in part a symptom of the lack of effective employment services to assist small business in finding staff. We’d like to see federal and state governments address this problem too.”
“The New South Wales budget is coming up next week and we’re keen to see what they have in store.”