NSW Nationals get behind small business
The small business economy is integral to the strength of our State, with 710,000 small businesses employing half of the NSW workforce. Of these small businesses, more than a third are in regional areas where they employ a significant number of young workers through the vocational sector.
The regions' reliance on small businesses is why NSW Nationals Leader and Minister for Regional NSW, Skills and Small Business John Barilaro – himself a former small business owner – was pleased to announce the NSW Government’s Small Business Strategy last week.
The Small Business Strategy presents the Government’s goals for small business, uniting funding with strategy, creating an outcome-based plan for small businesses following on from the $330 million in tax cuts delivered by the 2017-18 Budget.
The recent Budget cuts abolished insurance duty for small businesses on commercial vehicle insurance (including aircraft), professional indemnity insurance, and product and public liability insurance and will apply to businesses with an aggregated turnover of less than $2 million.
“The NSW Small Business Strategy will guide the NSW Government’s focus on these issues and help small businesses to manage the challenges they face,” John said.
“Digital awareness, financial literacy, taxation and access to capital are the most commonly raised issues when I travel around the State and meet with small businesses”.
The Small Business Strategy targets six key areas identified by the Government that impede small business genesis and growth.
- Payroll Tax
The payroll tax threshold has been lifted to $750,000 meaning fewer small and medium businesses are liable. Indexation has also been scrapped meaning businesses who do pay the tax will save thousands each year. The Jobs Action rebate has been increased from $5,000 to $6,000, allowing businesses with less than 50 employees who have taken on new full or part time staff since 2011 eligible for a payroll tax rebate.
Small businesses who don’t pay payroll tax may also be eligible for a grant of $2000 when hiring new employees.
2. Upskilling employees
With small businesses employing 80 per cent of the vocational sector trainees and graduates, ensuring employees have the skills required is key. The NSW Government has committed $30 million to the Skills for Business initiative, providing training and advisors to equip employees with the skills they need in the ever evolving workplace. 550,000 vocational places will be supported with TAFE expandeding [hyperlink to TAFE piece from RU http://www.nswnationals.org.au/tafe_s_transformation ] in the regions to meet record jobs growth.
3. Access to government contracts
The NSW Government is reviewing its procurement process to make it easier for small and medium businesses to tender for government contracts.
4. Access and capital and cash flow
Small businesses are often left cashless with larger companies not paying invoices for 60 or 90 days. The Nationals and Liberals Government is working with the Federal Government to rectify this imbalance, including investigating mandatory invoice periods.
5. Starting a small business
To start a small business was a complex, slow and frustrating process and used to take 48 forms and 13 agencies to start a small business. The Nationals and Liberals Government has slashed red tape through their Easy to Do Business initiative, which includes a single application online start point and checklists to streamline the process. Maintaining a business is also being made easier by the Easy to Stay in Business initiative and Business Connect which provides ongoing support and advice to small business owners.
6. Tools for business
In the 21st century, digital connectivity is vital to small businesses. The continued rollout of the Mobile Blackspot program is bringing mobile and data connections to the regions. Small businesses can also access financial planning tools via Business Connect.
For more information please refer to the following websites:
Jobs Action Rebate (payroll tax rebate) visit http://www.osr.nsw.gov.au/taxes/payroll/jap
For small Business grants of up to $2000 visit http://www.osr.nsw.gov.au/grants/sbg
For skilled staff initiatives please visit https://www.training.nsw.gov.au/smartandskilled/index.html and https://www.industry.nsw.gov.au/live-and-work-in-nsw/working-in-nsw/smart-skilled-and-hired
Office of the NSW Small Business Commissioner https://www.smallbusiness.nsw.gov.au/
Easy to do Business initiative https://www.service.nsw.gov.au/about-easy-do-business
For information on Business Connect, please visit https://www.industry.nsw.gov.au/business-and-industry-in-nsw/businessconnect
The NSW Government’s Small Business Strategy can be found here: http://www.industry.nsw.gov.au/business-and-industry-in-nsw/assistance-and-support/small-business-strategy - Small business strategy can be found here.