QLD government appoints business champion as Small Business Commissioner

- April 23, 2020 2 MIN READ

Queensland ‘Small Business Champion’ Maree Adshead has been appointed as Queensland’s Small Business Commissioner.

The role was created to temporarily provide much-needed advocacy for small business owners as they struggle to remain trading during the coronavirus crisis.

The state’s SMBs will now have a single point of contact to negotiate on their behalf during disputes.

Minister for Employment and Small Business Shannon Fentiman says the Adshead will hold the position until the end of the year.

“Our thousands of small businesses are struggling due to the COVID-19 crisis, and now more than ever they need assistance,” said Fentiman.

“We know that dispute resolution can come at a significant cost for small business owners in terms of legal services, time away from their business, lost productivity and income, as well as additional expenses and stress.”

“The Commissioners role will meet the needs of small business and provide them with valuable advice and assistance in relation to resolving disputes.”

The Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman Kate Carnell has welcomed the Queensland Government’s decision to appoint a temporary Small Business Commissioner.

“Maree has done fantastic work as the Queensland Small Business Champion and she’s certainly the right person for this important job,” Carnell said.

“Many small businesses are reaching out for assistance with disputes over commercial lease arrangements because of the financial hardship they are experiencing during this difficult time.

“By creating this role, small businesses in Queensland will have the support they need to negotiate a fair outcome with their landlord, under the guidance of the Mandatory Commercial Tenancy Code of Conduct.

“It’s vital, especially in this time of crisis, there is a full-time small business commissioner with the necessary powers to meet the needs of small businesses.

Carnell said while Adshead’s role is temporary, she believes there is a case to be made for a permanent position.

“While this Small Business Commissioner role is only temporarily in place for the remainder of the year, my office believes there is good reason to make this an ongoing service to the small business community in Queensland.

“In the meantime, we congratulate Maree Adshead on taking this role in the interim,” Carnell concluded.

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