Small Business Strategy is an important step to support small business but there’s more to be done

Monday 3 June, 2024

The state’s peak business body welcomes the State Government’s Small Business Strategy, which includes the Chamber’s recommendations to reduce pressure on small businesses, but there is still more to be done.  

Business Chamber Queensland CEO Heidi Cooper says the Chamber has been calling on the government to respond to the compounding pressures on the small business community and is pleased to see some of these issues addressed in the Strategy.  

“We have been calling on the Queensland Government to recognise the mounting pressure on Queensland small businesses and provide relief for the day-to-day issues being experiences by businesses across the State. 

“From record high costs to increasing regulatory burden, businesses are doing it tough right now. 

“Business knows business best and through consultation with the Queensland Government in developing the Small Business Strategy, we ensured genuine business experiences and needs were at the forefront,” Ms Cooper said. 

 “While the strategy’s actions reflect much of the focus of our advocacy, there is still significant work needed to help businesses face increasing pressures as well as feel confident to invest in the future 

“It is an important time for business in Queensland and it is essential small businesses are supported to meet their daily challenges while ensuring they have the mechanisms they need to be able to capitalise on the opportunities ahead in our state.  

“We know businesses are looking for long-term, practical solutions for managing ongoing workforce challenges, reducing historically high operating costs, and overcoming mounting regulatory burdens.”    

 The Small Business Strategy included a series of commitments reflective of Business Chamber Queensland’s recommendations.  

“Local businesses are well placed to capitalise on upcoming infrastructure projects but there needs to be clear methods to participate in this opportunity,” Ms Cooper said.   

“We know there is a complex regulatory environment in Queensland and it’s hard to do business with government so a commitment to reduce these barriers to participation is critcal.   

“Improved procurement and grants processes to ensure more businesses can be a part of major projects and investment opportunities, as well as commitments to measures like on-time payments are essential. 

“It was also positive to see a commitment to developing practical guidelines to reduce disruption to small businesses and support jobs when undertaking capital works projects.” 

Ms Cooper said continued energy relief for small businesses was welcome but there was still work to do to ensure there was a viable plan for businesses to be able to access a sustainable, affordable energy supply in Queensland. 

"There is need for long-term structural solutions to sustainably reduce energy costs,” Ms Cooper said.  

“We’re also pleased to see a continued focus on supporting businesses in the evolving digital landscape, particularly in protecting their operations against cyber-attacks.” 

Ms Cooper said Business Chamber Queensland’s ecoBiz and Workforce Evolve programs were clear examples of government and industry partnering on business-led program delivery.  

“We’re pleased to see the government’s ongoing commitment to these initiatives to improve business sustainability and grow diverse, productive workplaces,” Ms Cooper said. 

“We will continue to advocate for stronger measures to address issues like the ever-growing regulatory burden on businesses, prohibitive insurance costs, investment in regional connectivity, and business enabling infrastructure. 

“We’re looking to this month’s State Budget for a comprehensive, long-term government strategy, backed by appropriate funding, to improve the operating environment for business, build confidence, and ensure opportunities for growth.” 

Acknowledgement of Country

Business Chamber Queensland respectfully acknowledges the Traditional Owners and custodians of the lands from across Queensland and the Torres Strait. We acknowledge the Jagera and Turrbal people as the Traditional Custodians of Meanjin (Brisbane), the lands where our office is located and the place we meet, work and learn. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.