Cairns Regional Council has cemented its support for local small businesses by becoming the seventh council in Queensland to sign the Small Business Friendly Councils charter.
Mayor Bob Manning said it was more important than ever for Council to demonstrate its support for small businesses.
“Small businesses make up about 97% of all businesses in Cairns, they are the lifeblood of our city, which is why it is so important that we provide them support, especially at this time,” he said.
The Small Business Friendly Councils (SBFC) initiative was established by the State Government to recognise and support local councils that are actively supporting small businesses in their area.
It recognises a commitment by councils to be mindful of small businesses, their issues and priorities when making decisions for the local community.
Queensland Small Business Commissioner, Maree Adshead last week co-signed the SBFC charter with Cr Manning and Cairns Chamber of Commerce President Sally Mlikota and CEO Patricia O’Neill.
Ms Adshead said it was pleasing the Council has committed to engage, promote and support the small businesses within their region.
“The Cairns region is fortunate to have a number of passionate local Chambers of Commerce and business groups,” Ms Adshead said.
“I look forward to continuing to work with all concerned to bring real benefits to the local small business community.”
Cr Manning said that by signing the SBFC, Council was committing to initiatives to support small business, including better communication and engagement, more promotion and development, and importantly cutting red tape.
“Joining the SBFC initiative builds on a number of Council programs and initiatives that already support small business,” Cr Manning said.
““This includes a procurement policy that supports local organisations wherever possible – last financial year, 87 per cent of Council’s total expenditure of $394 million, was spent locally.
“Council funded the Cairns Chamber of Commerce’s “Keep it in Cairns” campaign to encourage residents to shop locally, has waived fees and provided rates extensions for residents and businesses, and has funding agreements with organisations such as TTNQ and the SuperYacht Group, which have hundreds of small business members.”
Ms O’Neill said the SBFC initiative demonstrated the benefits when state and local governments worked together to support small business.
“We have consolidated an already powerful and effective partnership between Cairns Regional Council and the Cairns Chamber of Commerce,” Ms O’Neill said.
“By co-signing the Small Business Friendly Councils charter, we can ensure that we will continue to achieve positive outcomes for the business community now and for years to come.”