Small Business Taskforce

Small business. Big opportunities.

Our Small Business Policy Taskforce has identified opportunities to drive Victorian small business growth and success in 2015 and beyond. The recommendations to governments contained in our report will give small business owners the best chance to grow their workforces, continue to innovate and achieve further success at home and abroad.

These recommendations across seven priority areas seek to address the unique challenges that small businesses face in growing their operations and workforces.

Explore our key recommendations below or download the full report:
Small business. Big opportunities. (PDF, 4.72MB)

Jobs: Address critical workplace relations constraints

  • Enable small businesses to employ more people by reforming penalty pay rate structures for small business employers.
  • Simplify existing workplace relations legislation applying to small business, including the content of modern awards.
  • Include ‘minimum engagement’ as an award matter that can be varied under the individual flexibility arrangements (IFA) in all awards.

Skills: Address small business skills requirements

  • Offer small business a one-year holiday from payroll tax for each new employment placement of a young person between the ages of 15 to 25 engaged in their first full-time job.
  • Reintroduce payroll tax exemptions for eligible new trainees and apprentices, as currently exist in NSW, QLD and WA.
  • Redirect $20 million of Victorian Training Guarantee funding to boost apprenticeships/traineeships in hospitality, business administration, retail and tourism.

Costs: Lower small business direct and indirect costs

  • Raise the payroll tax free threshold from $550,000 to $850,000. Do not introduce any new taxes or increase existing taxes on small business.
  • Commit to the progressive reduction in WorkCover premiums
  • Review and rationalise the number of business regulators. Reinstate the Office of the Red Tape Commissioner and strengthen the Commissioner’s enforcement powers.

Exports: Get more small businesses into exporting

  • Commit $75 million in funding to secure Victoria’s International Engagement Strategy for a further four years, with priority given to facilitating SME exports.
  • Develop a strategy to actively leverage opportunities created by Free Trade Agreements and assist Victorian SMEs to take advantage of these.
  • Commit to and deliver freight transport infrastructure upgrades in regional Victoria to enable small businesses, particularly in agriculture and manufacturing, to leverage export opportunities and reduce costs.

Innovation: Improve small business access to competitively priced finance

  • Provide tailored training for small business on how to produce stronger credit applications.
  • Implement the extension of unfair contract term protections to small business, as proposed by the Commonwealth Government.
  • Consolidate existing federal, state and local government information on available small business grants and financial support under a single electronic point of entry.

Procurement: Further support small business access to government purchasing

  • Require governments to publish how successful each major department and agency is at meeting the fair payment provision for small businesses. Automatically add late payment fees to invoices not paid on time, removing the onus on small business to invoke penalty payment clauses.
  • Encourage greater opportunities for regional small businesses by encouraging VIPP Plans to outline the level of value-add activities that will be sourced from regional areas.
  • For all government procurement that is not required to go to open tender, require at least one quote to be sought from a small-to-medium sized enterprise.