The Council of Small Business Organisations Australia (COSBOA) has drawn up its battle lines ahead of the federal election, launching a new campaign “Fair to Small Business, Good for Everyone’.
COSBOA says overly complex policies are restricting small business from growth and the government needs to do more to assist the nation’s 2.2 million small business owners. With a federal election slated for May, COSBOA wants the parties to focus their attention on how they can free up small business owners from unnecessary red tape.
Peter Strong, CEO of COSBOA says small business play a vital role in the nation’s economy. They employ over 4.7 million people, support local sports groups, donate to charities, bolster regional areas and take pride of place in our community and in our society.
Yet Strong says the government continues to treat small business as just a pint-sized version of a bigger corporation. He insists a one-policy-fits-all model does not work for small business. Strong is calling for the government to employ sensible policies to help small business people to get back to business.
“Small businesses are actually individuals who are highly active in running their everyday operations and often employ other people. Too often small businesses are treated as though they are a small version of a big business or are treated as though they are all inadequate, dishonest or unworthy. We must challenge these beliefs and change these attitudes,” says Strong.
“Having a one-size-fits-all approach to policies doesn’t work. Our aim is to have government officials create small business policies that are sensible and easy to navigate. By reducing the complexity, it will ease the burden on small businesses and be good for everyone,” said Mr Strong.
The ‘Fair to Small Business, Good for Everyone’ campaign aims to address the issues and discover what small business owners need to prosper.
The council has identified a number of areas it believes small business owners need to be treated more fairly, including transparent governance – federal, state and local; access to business finance; fair workplaces and good productivity; affordable energy and effective environmental management and accessible world-class education and vocational training system.
“The more compliance activity small business people are required to do for governments and for regulators, the less secure the small businesses are. Unnecessary and complicated compliance remains a drain on productivity,” says Strong.