Monday, June 24, 2024

WA councils to ‘revolutionise’ small business approvals

Western Australia Small Business Minister, Paul Papalia has announced the first three local government authorities chosen to undertake a new program to streamline approvals processes for small businesses.

He said the Small Business Friendly Approvals Program would make it easier for small businesses to operate in Western Australia by smoothing the process of accessing permits and licences from local government authorities.

“Local governments play a central role in creating an environment in which small businesses can successfully start and thrive in WA,” the Minister said.

“It is essential that all levels of government work together to make the operating environment as supportive as possible for our small businesses.

“The launch of the Small Business Development Corporation’s approvals program is an important expansion of the work the agency has already undertaken with the local government sector through its Small Business Friendly Local Governments initiative, which has successfully run since 2017.

He said the program was ultimately designed to make it easier to start, operate and grow a business in WA by saving businesses time and money when interacting with local government authorities.

The cities of Melville, Rockingham and Wanneroo are the first group of councils selected to take part in the program.

“I congratulate the cities of Melville, Rockingham and Wanneroo on their selection in this important new initiative, and look forward to seeing the benefits it delivers for their local businesses,” said Mr Papalia.

The Small Business Development Corporation (SBDC)-led program is funded by the McGowan Government via Streamline WA – as part of a focus on accelerating regulatory reform to support economic recovery in response to COVID-19.

The cities of Canning and Stirling successfully piloted the program with the SBDC in late 2019, identifying reform initiatives that could reduce approval timeframes for development applications by over 30 days, resulting in significant time and cost savings for small business. 

Seventeen more Western Australian local governments will participate in the Small Business Friendly Approvals Program by the end of 2022. 

“The City has recently worked with local businesses to improve its online approvals information, and this project will ensure real transformational change,” said City of Melville Mayor, George Gear.

“We want to make it easy for businesses to do business with us and we thank the State Government for its commitment and support to our small business community.” 

City of Rockingham Mayor, Barry Samuels said that on the back of joining the Small Business Development Corporation’s Small Business Friendly Local Governments initiative in 2020, Rockingham was delighted to be one of the first local governments in WA selected to be part of the new program.  

“With our commitment to continuous improvement, one of our key drivers is to cut red tape wherever possible. We wholeheartedly support initiatives that deliver improved interactions with our small business customers, and we look forward to the program commencing in the new year,” he said.

City of Wanneroo Mayor, Tracey Roberts said mall businesses were the backbone of WA communities, with 13,000 local businesses providing more than 54,000 local jobs and many other significant benefits, such as opportunities for the City’s residents to work closer to home.

“A 2020 City survey of local businesses identified reducing red tape as key to their post COVID-19 economic recovery. By participating in the SBDC Approvals Program, we are directly responding to the needs of our business community,” she said.

“Through streamlining processes and reducing red tape, the program will not only benefit our existing local business community, but will make it easier for new businesses to establish themselves in Wanneroo, supporting innovation, investment and job creation in the City.”

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