Geelong Chamber of Commerce CEO, Bernadette Uzelac, has voiced concerns regarding the Turnbull Government’s commitment to small business.

Following the demotion of the small business ministry from cabinet as part of the recent reshuffle, Uzelac has questioned if the move will “herald a mindset shift back to the days when small business was merely given token acknowledgment of its significance on the national economic agenda?”

Uzelac argues that ‘The small business sector does not need crumbs or handouts: it needs to be recognised for its important contribution to the nation’s economy and employment… Removing complexity and focusing on political and economic stability will stimulate economic activity resulting in what everyone wants – economic and jobs growth.’

Uzelac cites the results of the 2015 Geelong Survey of Business Trends, which shows that “small business wants governments to get out of their way, to remove barriers and red tape that hinder business productivity and to provide an environment of certainty.”

This is consistent with the IPA’s recent submission to the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman, which argues that “Small businesses spend disproportionate resources understanding and complying with complex and unnecessary red tape”, and concludes that red tape in Australia must be addressed because “it is only once governments get out of the way that small businesses can grow.”

By Michael Husek