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Small Companies Struggle to Conquer Government Hurdles

Written on the 15 December 2008 by Courier Mail

Small companies struggle to conquer government hurdles

Courier Mail, Page: 54
Monday, 15 December 2008

THE hurdles to become a government supplier are too prohibitively high, according to John O'Brien, chairman of the Franchise Council of Australia.

Mr O'Brien, chief executive of Australia's largest pool and spa care network PoolWerx, says the Government's support package for small businesses will not provide real impact.

Small business in Australia employs 60 per cent of the workforce and is considered the economy's engine room.

But Mr O'Brien says minor measures such as the individual tax management plans, $4 million for advisory centres and guarantees of ontime payments for businesses that deal with government departments are not enough to assist small business in this tough economic period.

"There is only a small percentage of small business benefiting from government contracts and Mr Rudd revealed at the recent summit the Government already generally pays within 30 days, so offering interest on overdue accounts is a soft solution and one they will rarely have to deliver on," he says.

"The red tape, insurance and quality assurance measures that a business needs to meet to qualify as a government supplier is also prohibitive for many small businesses.

"Perhaps if this was reviewed and simplified, more small business could benefit from the $30 billion the government spends on goods and services." He says small business is not getting any preferential treatment.

"Small business has become the tax collector for the government through GST and payroll tax," he says.

"A solid and truly beneficial measure would be to reduce tax levels, particularly payroll tax. The thresholds should be increased and rates lowered further.

"Just in my business, if this was able to be achieved W would be able to afford to hir up to two more people just at head office. Small business i~ the conduit for achieving steady employment rates and you can image the effect if such a measure was implemented."

Caption Text:
RED tape a killer Franchise Council of Australia chairman John O'Brien.

Author: Courier Mail

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