Mitchell Jobs Forum Generates Great Ideas
Last month, I joined with the Sydney Hills Business Chamber to host a local Jobs Forum with Steven Ciobo MP, Shadow Minister for Small Business, and Senator the Hon Michael Ronaldson, Shadow Special Minister for State.
Around 130 small business people and representatives from other community organisations came along to discuss the economic situation and have their say on how government policy can be improved with regard to small business and job creation.
A number of innovative and practical options were put forward by participants at the Forum. It was particularly good to see local business committed to keeping jobs in spite of an economic downturn and an increasingly difficult regulatory environment.
Much of the concern of small business focussed around reducing the wasteful duplication of tax, government and bureaucratic process. There was also great concern over a lack of access to finance and lending rates for small business.
Additionally, it was a consensus view that there was a great need for infrastructure spending as opposed to cash handouts.
The Jobs forum also asked participants to suggest ideas or policy improvements which could practically assist local business. Proposals included:
- freezing payroll tax, or reduce the threshold at which a business starts to pay payroll tax were made;
- simplifying government tender processes, allowing small business to be able to afford to apply; and
- increasing the small business employee threshold from 20 full-time equivalents.
A further suggestion allowing people to draw on their superannuation to use for things such as a deposit on a house, capital for a business or to use as an income supplement if forced into part time work was popular.
The Jobs Forum was a great success, and I appreciate the time that people took out of their businesses to attend and contribute in such a constructive way. This valuable contribution made by the small business community in Mitchell will be taken to Canberra and will assist in forming policy and getting better outcomes for small and medium enterprises.