Minister for Small Business Brendan O’Connor, Member for Cunningham Sharon Bird and Member for Throsby Stephen Jones have praised the Illawarra Business Chamber for its Business Marketplace 2012, showcasing a vibrant and broad small business sector in the Illawarra region.
Opening the event, Mr O’Connor said the Marketplace displayed how important Illawarra business people are to the Australian economy.
“The Business Marketplace is a great opportunity for local business people to get out, network, see what other businesses are doing to succeed and catch up with the latest business advice from local advisory services,” Mr O’Connor said.
“The Business Marketplace is also a great opportunity for me to talk to people in Wollongong who put their put their heart and soul into their businesses every day. “I am particularly pleased that small businesses in this region are accessing the Illawarra Investment and Innovation Fund and programs through Enterprise Connect and AusIndustry.”
Ms Bird said the Fund has been a great boost for the area.
“There are some great success stories coming through, like Fibre Optics Design and Construct which is effectively doubling its workforce to manufacture a fibre-optics system that will transform communications in underground mines at Bulli with assistance under the Illawarra Investment and Innovation Fund,” Ms Bird said.
“Not only that, the company is providing high-wage, high-skilled jobs for local people by employing a University of Wollongong graduate and two apprentices at their new Bulli factory.
“They tick the boxes on being innovative and skilling their workers.”
Mr Jones said he was pleased the Small Business Minister was able to meet with small business people from the region to understand the issues they face.
“I am grateful the Minister is able to connect with these small business people from the Illawarra and gain insights into the challenges they face so he can represent their views to the Government,” Mr Jones said.
“While this region may be known for its large manufacturing industry, this wouldn’t exist without the support and efforts of a strong local small business community.”
Mr O’Connor said the Gillard Government was introducing new measures to help small businesses, including the $6,500 instant asset tax write-off, the Loss Carry-Back system, and the first Australian Small Business Commissioner.
“Our instant asset tax write-off will particularly be of interest to small businesses in the Illawarra,” Mr O’Connor said.
“It allows businesses to instantly write off each new asset valued up to $6,500 in that tax year, instead of depreciating it over a number of years.
“Not only does this free up cash flow, it saves time, money and paperwork in not having to work through depreciation schedules, so it cuts red tape as well as providing tax relief.”
The Loss Carry-Back system allows companies to carry back losses up to $1 million to offset past profits and get a refund of tax previously paid on that profit.
“This major initiative will help companies through tough times, and encourage them to invest and grow,” Mr O’Connor said.
“For the first time, incorporated businesses currently making losses will be able to carry those losses back against past profits and receive a refund on some of the tax they paid then.
“But more importantly, it will create the environment which gives small businesses confidence to invest and to innovate – knowing that if they make a loss, they can carry that loss back.
“Many small businesses – particularly sole traders, independent contractors and micro businesses – will also benefit from the personal income tax cuts, including the tripling of the tax-free threshold, which are being brought in as part of our Clean Energy package.
“The Gillard Government is determined to create the environment in which small businesses not only survive, they thrive.”