Cut red tape, shop local and offer more tax breaks, key to small business success

Small business rules: Cowper MP Luke Hartsuyker looks on as federal minister for small business Michael McCormack talks up small business with Holiday Coast Credit Union CEO Neville Parsons in Port Macquarie on Wednesday.
Small business rules: Cowper MP Luke Hartsuyker looks on as federal minister for small business Michael McCormack talks up small business with Holiday Coast Credit Union CEO Neville Parsons in Port Macquarie on Wednesday.

Don't it always seem to go. 

That you don't know what you've got til its gone.

Joni Mitchell’s 1970 anthem typifies federal minister for small business Michael McCormack’s view of the importance small business plays in the Australian economy.

The minister’s roadshow pulled up in Port Macquarie and Wauchope on Wednesday.

One of his first tasks as minister was to write to his federal colleagues where he stressed to them the importance of getting small business into the mix of the government spend. About a third of government goods and services are currently purchased through small business, he said.

“I also get onboard with shop local campaigns each and every year and (encourage people) to think local when buying,” he said.

“It’s a bit like you don’t know how valuable it is until you’ve lost it.

“It’s all well and good for big players to come into the market but if you lose those local stores, it is so hard to get them back. 

“Whilst sometimes their pricing may be just a little less than competitive compared with the bigger franchise retailers, the fact is, we need them.

“They employ locals and in most cases give people their first start either as an apprentice or a trainee.”

The minister said that small business ‘at the end of the day’ provide great competition.

And that’s why we are trying to level the playing field as far as a GST on goods generated from shopping online, he said.

It’s all well and good for big players to come into the market but if you lose those local stores, it is so hard to get them back

Michael McCormack

“Any company that is selling into Australia and has a turnover of more than $75,000 will be required to pay GST,” he added.

He said small businesses generally opened early and closed late.

Other concessions to small business included altering the definition of small business as one with a turnover of up to $10 million – it was previously a turnover of $2 million – to take advantage of a lowering of the company tax rate to 27.5 percent – the lowest it’s been in 50 years.

Mr McCormack said small business can also take advantage of the instant asset write-off which is now up to $20,000.

He said this would encourage reinvestment into small business.

The minister said cutting red tape and less paperwork – through the simplification of the BAS – were also designed to improve small business.

“We know that small business do a powerful job, particularly here in this electorate where there are so many diversified businesses,” he added.