State Budget provides some business support but there is still work to do to meet long-term business needs
The State Budget test is how outcomes will support businesses to continue their important role in the state’s economy, workforces, supply chains and communities now and in the future, Business Chamber Queensland CEO Heidi Cooper says.
Ms Cooper says business support measures are welcome but there is still work to do to meet current business challenges and enable businesses to plan, invest and scale with confidence.
“We know cost of living pressures around the kitchen table are the same as the cost of doing business pressures seen around business tables across the state,” Ms Cooper said.
“Businesses are the engine room of the economy but to do that they need to reduce costs, increase productivity and upskill and retain staff all at the same time. In an environment where there is weak confidence, business needs help to do this.
“This is a cost of living budget – while cost of living measures can go some way in supporting consumer confidence and local spending, there is a gap in support for the cost of doing business.
“For the business community to be competitive now and realise the opportunities to come in the next decade and beyond, work must start now.
“We’ll be looking closely at these budget outcomes to see where that work is underway and where there is more to be done.”
Ms Cooper said businesses wanted to see relief from high operating costs and complexities, plus workforce support like attraction and retention as top priorities.
“Immediate energy bill relief for businesses is welcome especially as businesses are telling us input costs, like energy, are significantly impacting their ability to grow,” Ms Cooper said.
“At the same time, businesses need a commitment to resilient and long-term energy affordability. Support to adopt sustainable business practices today as well as future-proofing Queensland’s energy asset base and transitioning to sustainable energy are ways this can happen.
“We also welcome a continued commitment to training and skills to support businesses at a time when workforce attraction and retention is the most significant business constraint.
“Workplace digitisation continues to be a major priority for Queensland business to be able to thrive into the future so we welcome targeted investment in cyber security support for small and medium businesses.
“In Queensland we are on the cusp of significant opportunities and it’s critical the state’s businesses are supported to be competitive now and thrive into the future.”