Media Releases

A budget that misses the mark for business

hands on laptop with words budget on screen

The ACT’s peak business group has said that the budget is a missed opportunity to support 34,000 local businesses struggling with supply and skills shortages, and rampant cost increases.

While the Chamber acknowledges initiatives for health, housing and to alleviate the cost-of-living crisis, the ACT Budget 2023-24 falls disappointingly short in providing meaningful support for businesses operating in the region.

Archie Tsirimokos, Chairman of the Canberra Business Chamber said: “In our budget submission, we had outlined 14 actionable steps with 10 of them requiring minimal or no financial investment. The government seems to have overlooked these practical recommendations.”

“Many businesses are currently facing pressing challenges such as soaring costs, waning consumer confidence, workforce shortages, and persistent supply chain pressures. We think that this budget is a missed opportunity to address these critical issues head-on.”

The Chamber welcomes the continued support for the Canberra Business Advice and Support Service where the government will spend $304,000 over the next two years but added that more can be done.

“It is important to recognise that the Canberra Business Advice and Support Service represents a baseline for SME support. The ACT Government should work to evolve the nature and scope of support, providing further pathways for local small and medium enterprises,” Mr. Tsirimokos said.


“In addition to these business advisory and support services, the government can introduce a support program to leverage the existing relationships small businesses have with their professional advisers. This is likely to reach greater numbers of small businesses in need of advice.”

The Chamber acknowledges the $60 million affordable housing fund to increase affordable rental homes and partially combat the lack of affordable housing in Canberra which is a barrier for staff attraction and retention.
“Affordable housing is only part of the puzzle when it comes to staff attraction and retention.

We need the ACT Government to commit to a long-term skills and workforce plan and work closely with the business community and the education and training sectors.” Mr. Tsirimokos said.

The Chamber will continue to push for investment in better data to support economic growth, long-term planning, and policies to address issues that threaten the long-term survival of the Territory’s small to medium-sized businesses.


CBC Media Contact: Archie Tsirimokos, Chair of CBC

CBC Office: 02 6247 4199