Monday 22 July 2020

Canberra Business Chamber welcomes new report on COVID recovery for business

The Canberra Business Chamber has welcomed a new report from the National Australia Bank (NAB). The report finds that SMEs are held back by unnecessary burdens and outlines an eight-point approach to reforms that will make it easier for businesses to start, survive, and provide jobs.

The “Supporting Economic Recovery – What We Can Do for Small Business” report, commissioned by NAB, found that small business continues to struggle with industrial relations, regulation and charges, instead of focusing on the growth of the enterprise.

“The best way to rebuild the ACT economy post-COVID is through a vibrant and growing business sector,” Chamber CEO Graham Catt said today. “This NAB report clearly shows, however, that it is far more difficult than it should be for owners to build and grow a successful small business.”

The report finds that state and territory governments play a major role in making it easy or difficult to start, run and grow a business. (p 20) It ranks the ACT as one of the least business-friendly environments, when compared to NSW and the other states and territories. (p22)

“Many of the issues the NAB report highlights are the same as those that Chamber members identified in a series of in-depth forums which we convened last month.

“For example, the ACT has only one level of government, but we have the longest approval times in the country for businesses to receive all the permits and registrations they need. (p31). We also have the highest rate of payroll tax in the country. (p29)

“Business survival is important. The ACT has one of the highest rates of new business formation in the country, but we also have one of the greatest rates of new business failure.”

“We need businesses to grow so that they can provide more jobs for Canberrans” said Mr Catt. “But we can’t encourage more entrepreneurs if our laws, regulations, and taxes make it difficult for them to survive, much less succeed.”

“With a Territory election coming up in just three months, Canberra businesses are looking to the ACT government to turn that around. Business is ready to drive the ACT’s economic recovery. By removing unnecessary obstacles, we have a real opportunity to support their growth and help ensure we have jobs for all Canberrans into the future.”