Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Western Downs signs business friendly charter

Small businesses in Queensland’s Western Downs are set to benefit from a new commitment made by Western Downs Regional Council yesterday.

The Council has signed the Small Business Friendly Council charter, joining a growing number of councils keen to improve their support of local small business.

“Small businesses are the heart and hubs of our local communities and are crucial to our $14.5 billion COVID-19 Economic Recovery Plan,” Minister for Employment and Small Business, Di Farmer said.

“They are our families, our friends, our neighbours and they keep our communities strong.

“It’s fantastic that so many councils have committed to the small business friendly charter, with many others lining up to join them.

“By signing the Small Business Friendly Council charter, councils commit to support small businesses in their communities and help to reduce red tape.”

Western Downs Regional Council Mayor, Paul McVeigh said Council offered a range of support options to local traders and signing on to the Small Business Friendly Council Initiative was the right decision.

“Council is a proud advocate for our local businesses, and aggressively attracts investment opportunities to grow our great region,” Mayor McVeigh said.

“We are proud to be a Small Business Friendly Council and we are excited to explore new and exciting outcomes for our fantastic local businesses.”

Queensland Small Business Commissioner, Maree Adshead, who co-signed the SBFC Charter with Mayor McVeigh, said the Western Downs was renowned for being innovative and already had a range of initiatives in place to support local small business.

“We’ve already witnessed the great work Western Downs Regional Council and local business member organisations have done to help and support small businesses,” Ms Adshead said.

“The signing of this charter marks a commitment to continue the collaborative journey between council and the Western Downs small business community.

“I look forward to continuing to work with all concerned to bring real benefits to the local small business community in the Western Downs.”

The Commissioner said Councils who join the Small Business Friendly family join a community of like-minded people who want to ensure their small business community is flourishing.

 “A key feature of the SBFC initiative is being able to learn what other councils are doing to serve their small business community.”

“We’ve recently set-up our communities of practice which will fortify knowledge sharing and connectiveness between councils,” she said.

The SBFC charter has been developed by the Queensland Government in conjunction with councils and aims to recognise and encourage the support of local councils to actively support small businesses to recover and build resilience following disaster and economic challenges.

There are currently 18 SBFCs across Queensland. When a council signs the SBFC charter they are pledging a commitment to:

  • communicate and engage;
  • raise small businesses profile and capability;
  • support resilience and recovery;
  • simplify administration and regulation (red tape reduction);
  • ensure fair procurement and prompt payment terms;
  • promote place-based activities.

Member for Ipswich West, Jim Madden, who represented Minister Farmer at the signing, said Queensland was home to more than 452,000 small businesses. As a small business owner himself, he said he understands the importance of the initiative.

“Me and my fellow small business owners represent over 97% of businesses state-wide and employ approximately 42% of all private sector workers,” said Mr Madden.

“I am pleased to see the State Government develop the Small Business Friendly Charter, which will provide some certainty for small businesses in Queensland.”

Find out more about the Small Business Friendly Councils (SBFC) initiative at  www.business.qld.gov.au/qsbc or by phoning 1300 312 344.

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