5 ways to reinvigorate Queensland Small Business

Thursday 21 September, 2017

The latest figures from Queensland Government’s Statistician’s Office paint a stark picture of the small business climate in Queensland, as the GFC, mining boom to bust, rising energy and business costs have taken their toll on the engine room of the state’s economy.

The key findings and observations over the last decade show:

  • The number of persons employed in a small business in Queensland decreased by 166,000 (down 15%); and
  • Conversely, the number of persons employed in a medium or large business increased by 38 per cent and 33.5% respectively. 

CCIQ’s General Manager of Advocacy, Kate Whittle, said the numbers show that efforts need to be made by all sides and all levels of politics to provide business with the environment that they need to succeed.

“When small businesses suffer, the economy suffers, particularly in regional Queensland.

“Unfortunately, big business is simply unable to pick up all of the shortfall, so we have to act quickly and act now to help kickstart the small business economy and bring the jobs growth back to this essential sector.

“Through extensive consultation with our members and the wider business community there are 5 things that must be done to stimulate growth, and this applies from Cooktown to Currumbin and from Rockhampton to Mt Isa.”

Business want to see all sides of politics commit to:

  • Lifting the payroll tax exemption threshold;
  • Improving workforce skills and development programmes throughout Queensland’s regions;
  • Increasing regional infrastructure investment;
  • Reducing electricity prices; and
  • Promoting small business growth.

“What I can tell you from talking with small businesses every single day, is that Queensland is a very challenging environment to do business in.

“Small business needs to feel confident to employ. 

“They need stability and certainty of government.

“They need a business operating environment that does not impose excessive costs on running a small business.

“They need a regulatory framework that allows them to work in their business, not spend over 6 hours a week filling out forms.

“They need tax relief, the best example being payroll tax, which is a tax on giving someone a job. 

“They need the legislation governing the employment relationship to accommodate more flexibility in the workplace.

“They need a skilled workforce and policies to prevent brain drain, particularly across Queensland’s regions.

“This is not about throwing money at the sector or providing bottomless handouts, this is about implementing appropriate policies that encourage growth, that nurture employment and create opportunities for businesses to do what they do best; power the potential of Queensland.

“CCIQ calls on all sides of politics to build on existing successful policies, and to make appropriate reforms to make Queensland the best environment in Australia in which to do business.” 

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