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2016

Government services go on the road for regional SA

25/07/2016

Small businesses in the North and Eyre Peninsula regions of SA will get a unique opportunity next month to connect with a number of local, State and Federal Government agencies that provide services and advice to small businesses.

The Office of the Small Business Commissioner will be holding the the popular BizLink Seminars in Port Lincoln, Whyalla and Port Pirie.

The Small Business Commissioner, John Chapman, has been leading the BizLink Seminars for the past 18 months and has seen increasing levels of attendance.

Read the News Release.

Small Businesses sign up for job creation grants

15/07/2016

South Australian small businesses have begun registering for the State Government's job creation grants announce in the State Budget.

Applicants for grants under the $109 million scheme include Boyd Plumbing and Gas, which has taken on an apprentice and applied for the $4,000 Small Business and Start-ups grant.

Other applicants include South Australian small businesses in the health, trades and design industries that have taken on additional employees above their current staff numbers.

The State Budget initiative is designed to incentivise small and medium-sized businesses with the capacity to grow to employ more staff.

Read the News Release.

Beware of Business Scams impersonating the ACCC

14/07/2016

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commissioner is warning businesses to watch out for scam emails that claim to be from the ACCC but in fact contain links that can infect your computer with malware.

In the past week, several businesses have reported receiving bogus requests from the ACCC to respond to a complaint that has been made about their business, or seek payment for an infringement notice for breach of copyright.

Read the full Media Release here.

You can report scams to the ACCC via the Scamwatch Report a Scam page

Job Accelerator Grant Scheme

07/07/2016

As part of the 2016-17 State Budget, handed down on 7 July 2016, the Government has announced a Job Accelerator Grant Scheme to encourage South Australian businesses to employ additional full-time, part-time and casual employees, and maintain them for at least 12 months.

Under the Job accelerator Grant Scheme there will be two grants offered, with different eligibility requirements. These grants are listed below:

  • A Job Accelerator Grant of up to $10,000 ($5,000 a year for two years) per new Full-Time equivalent (FTE) job created. This is available for businesses liable for payroll tax in SA with total Australian wages of $5 million or less.
  •  A Job Accelerator Grant for Small Business & Start-ups of up to $4,000 ($2,000 a year for two years) per new job created is available for most businesses not liable for payroll tax. This includes businesses with Australian wages below the payroll tax free threshold (currently $600,000) and most organisations that are exempt from payroll tax (e.g. public benevolent institution).

Businesses will be eligible to receive the grant for each additional worker employed by them in a new position between 1 July 2016 and 30 June 2018. The payment will be made on the first and second anniversary date of employment.

Businesses must register a new employee within 90 days of the employee’s commencement date.

Further information about the Job Accelerator Grant Scheme may be found in the Information Circulator 95 found here and also on the website www.revenuesa.sa.gov.au/jobs

Registrations for the Job Accelerator Grant Scheme can be made vial the following link www.revnet.sa.gov.au/grant/public/register.xhtml

 

Review of the Building and Construction Security of Payment Act 2009

17/06/2016

The State Government has launched the next stage of a program to improve payments to subcontractors in the building industry with the release of a series of proposed changes for consultation.  

Minister for Small Business, Martin Hamilton-Smith, has asked the Small Business Commissioner, John Chapman, to coordinate submissions on proposed changes to the Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 2009 (the Act) and other initiatives to improve payment to subcontractors in the building and construction industry.  

The Consultation Paper details the Small Business Commissioner’s recommendations to the State Government, which include that of the review of the Act undertaken by Retired District Court Judge Alan Moss. This review was tabled in both Houses of Parliament on 12 May 2015.  

The proposed changes are set out in a three stage approach. It is anticipated that the expeditious implementation of stage one will result in a significant improvement in the operation of the Act and principal contractor behaviour. A heavier regulatory approach could be implemented by the Government under stage two, and possibly stage three, if the changes made under stage one fail to improve conduct in the industry and payment to subcontractors.  

Small Business Commissioner, John Chapman, has welcomed the opportunity to seek feedback on the proposed changes and the three stage approach. Mr Chapman encourages stakeholders to identify any alternative initiatives in their submissions.

Consultation is open for a period of two months and submissions commenting on the Consultation Paper close on Friday 19 August 2016.

Submissions can be sent to:  

The Office of the Small Business Commissioner
GPO Box 1264 ADELAIDE  SA  5001  
or submitted by email to: sasbc@sa.gov.au

Any enquiries should be directed to (08) 8303 2026 or sasbc@sa.gov.au.  

Submissions will be made public on the Small Business Commissioner’s website unless confidentiality is specifically requested.  

The Moss Review can be found here, the Consulation Paper can be found here and the Building and Construction Security of Payment Act 2009 and Regulations can be found here.

View the Ministers News Release dated 17 June 2016 here

Launch of Aboriginal Business Connect

15/06/2016

Aboriginal Business Connect has recently launched in South Australia. It is South Australia's first online register of Aboriginal businesses. It is designed to be a one-stop-shop for anyone looking to procure goods or services from local Aboriginal businesses.

Developed in partnership between the State Government and Supply Nation the register will increase the visability of local Aboriginal businesses.

The register can be found at: www.aboriginalbusinessconnect.com.au

Review of the Retail And Commercial Leases Act 1995

24/05/2016

A review of the Retail and Commercial Leases Act 1995 (the Act) was completed in April 2016. Retired District Court Judge Alan Moss conducted the review (the Moss Review), which makes 20 recommendations on a broad range of issues relating to the Act.

The State Government is seeking responses from key stakeholders, industry groups and individuals before formalising its position on the recommendations set out in the Moss Review. Interested parties are invited to provide their views on the recommendations, and make any further comments or suggestions which they consider necessary or relevant.

Consultation is open for a period of three months. Submissions commenting on the Moss Review close on Friday 26 August 2016.

Submissions can be sent to:  

The Office of the Small Business Commissioner

GPO Box 1264 ADELAIDE  SA  5001  

or submitted by email to: sasbc@sa.gov.au

Any enquiries should be directed to (08) 8303 2026 or sasbc@sa.gov.au.  

Submissions will be made public on the Small Business Commissioner’s website unless confidentiality is specifically requested.  

The Moss Review dated 14 April 2016 can be found here and the Retail and Commercial Leases Act 1995 and Regulations can be found here.

View the Ministers News Release dated 24 May 2016 here

Whyalla Business Update – Arrium Administration

05/05/2016

Working with Whyalla based small businesses affected by the appointment of administrators to Arrium has been a priority for the Small Business Commissioner during April and will continue.

The Commissioner has been working with more than 40 businesses who are suffering severe cash flow issues and providing advice to the Premier Hon Jay Weatherill, Treasurer Hon Tom Koutsantonis and Minister for Small Business Hon Martin Hamilton-Smith on specific options to assist small businesses.

The Commissioner has been closely involved in the development of a $10 million assistance package for small businesses which was announced by the State Government on 2nd May 2016. Further details of this package can be found here.

The Office of the Small Business Commissioner has engaged Thomson Geer partner Michael Barrett to provide legal advice to affected businesses on the impacts of the administration and actions which need to be taken. The Department of State Development has engaged Hood Sweeney to provide free financial counselling advice to affected businesses in another very positive initiative. Hood Sweeney Partner, Mr Soto Stuppos is based in Whyalla but the company is able to draw on its extensive SA resources if required to assist. Mr Stuppos can be contacted on 1300 764 200.

SA Health and Department of Communities and Social Inclusion are also working closely with the Small Business Commissioner to ensure that other support mechanisms are in place.

On Thursday 12 May 2016, the Small Business Commissioner will be convening an information forum in Whyalla with representatives from the Australian Taxation Office, RevenueSA and Fair Work Ombudsman to further assist businesses. The forum will be held at the Regional Development Australia, Whyalla and Eyre Peninsula Office, 127 Nicolson Avenue, Whyalla Norrie. Bookings are essential and can be made by clicking here.

The State Government has expressed strong commitment to businesses throughout Whyalla and the Commissioner appreciates the strong support he has received from the Whyalla City Council, Whyalla Chamber of Commerce and Regional Development Australia.

Further information on the Department of State Development’s Arrium response can be found here www.supportoursteel.com.

The Office of the Small Business Commissioner also provides a contact point for New Access – A Beyond Blue support program which offers six free coaching sessions. The free program is delivered by Uniting Care Wesley Port Adelaide and further details can be found at:

www.ucwpa.org.au/progam

Save Your Retirement, from Scammers

05/05/2016

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) analysis of data reported to Scamwatch and the Australian Cybercrime Online Reporting Network (ACORN), together with losses detected through scam disruption work, estimates scam losses in excess of $229 million in 2015.

Read full article here.

Adelaide Waste Management

04/05/2016

The Small Business Commissioner is maintaining a close interest in a proposal by a number of Adelaide Councils to consolidate waste management under one contract.

The councils, through the vehicle Council Solutions, are seeking an authorisation from the ACCC to lock up all streams of waste management for more than 30 per cent of the metropolitan area for up to 17 years.

The Office of the Small Business Commissioner has been approached by both small and large waste industry operators expressing concern about the proposal and the potential negative impact on their businesses and the broader community.

The Commissioner has lodged a submission opposing the Council Solutions proposal and appeared at an ACCC conference of “interested parties” held in Adelaide to confirm his opposition.

The ACCC has now given Council Solutions until 30th May 2016 to provide additional information and undertake further consultation. The ACCC has indicated that it may not make a final determination until 23rd December 2016.

Interest-free loan scheme to support Whyalla businesses

03/05/2016

The State Government announced the introduction of an interest-free loan scheme to support small businesses experiencing a cash-flow challenges as a result of Arrium entering administration.

Read the Media Release

Whyalla Business Update – Arrium Administration

27/04/2016

The Small Business Commissioner, John Chapman, is assisting Whyalla businesses with various issues resulting from the Arrium administration.

For more information click here.

Businesses control own destiny

18/04/2016

The economic path for SA is somewhat problematic with changes in manufacturing and the commodity price downturn, but there are many other opportunities for businesses to pursue.

Read full article here.

 

New shop front for Small Business

30/03/2016

Minister for Small Business, Hon Martin Hamilton-Smith today announced the new shop front for the Office of the Small Business Commissioner.

Read the New Release

New Minimum Payments Proposal Threatens Owner Drivers

30/03/2016

The SA Small Business Commissioner has called on the Federal Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal to ditch a new minimum rates proposal which threatens to send small business owner drivers bankrupt.

The proposal by the Tribunal effectively sets a whole range of minimum rates for freight traffic and is due to come into effect on 4th April 2016.

Read the Media Release

Working With Skills Holdens Limited Event

29/03/2016

South Australian small businesses have a unique opportunity to see firsthand the workplace skills of potential employees from the automotive sector at Holden’s Elizabeth plant next month.

The event, organised by the Office of the Small Business Commissioner aims to link small business owners with highly skilled individuals, who are looking for a new career, well before the Elizabeth manufacturing facility closes towards the end of 2017.

Read the Media Release

Retail and Commercial Leasing Guide

01/03/2016

Minister for Small Business, Hon Martin Hamilton-Smith today launched the Office of the Small Business Commissioner Retail and Commercial Leasing Guide.

The Retail and Commercial Leasing Guide is a valuable resource for tenants and lessors of retail and commercial premises relating to the key issues surrounding entering a commercial and retail property lease. 

View the guide here Retail and Commercial Leases Guide.

Read the News Relase.

Churchill Fellowship

25/02/2016

A national award scheme that sends Australians from all walks of life overseas to explore a topic or issue of their choice wants more people from small business in South Australia to apply.

As part of a campaign celebrating its 50th anniversary, the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust of Australia is urging small business proprietors in South Australians to submit an application for a Churchill Fellowship.

More Information

 

Small Business Research at Flinders University

11/02/2016

Professor John Spoehr (left)  and Matt Sailer from Flinders University are making major inroads in bridging industry intelligence and research to improve productivity and development of small business in South Australia.

Professor Spoehr heads up the new Australian Industrial Transformation Institute and Mr Salier is the Director of the New Venture Institute, both based at the impressive new Flinders University facilities at Tonsley.  

This morning Professor Spoehr introduced a panel discussion which featured first hand examples of how research and development out of the commercial arm of Flinders University has helped South Australian businesses such as Ferguson Australia (Premium seafood suppliers at www.fergusonaustralia.com) and Hegs Australia (check out the new revolution in clothes pegs at www. hegs.com) develop their products, identify new markets and grow their business.

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Image: Professor John Spoehr and Mr Matt Sailer, Flinders University

 

New fund to assist Small Business

01/02/2016

The State Government is continuing to put significant effort into reshaping the North of Adelaide with the impending closure of the automotive manufacturing sector.  

Underpinning the approach is the Northern Economic Plan www.looknorth.com.au.

The role of small business in the plan is significant with a $10m Small Business Development Fund for northern Adelaide.

The State Government says feedback gathered through the Northern Economic Plan’s Community Engagement activities identified that the cost and loss of productivity arising from recruitment, hiring and training has been a deterrent in small businesses making a decision to hire an additional worker. This Fund would provide an incentive via a grant to small businesses for the creation of a new job.  The program will commence in the middle of the year.  

For more information contact Mr Alistair Taylor, A/Director Manufacturing and Small Business, Department of State Development  on (08)  8303 2263

Export Finance

01/02/2016

One of the barriers to successful exporting can be ensuring that a business has sufficient capital to finance its working capital needs.  

Export Finance and Insurance Corporation (Efic), is a Federal Government owned organization, which works with financial institutions and companies to unlock finance for capital needs.  

The criteria is relatively straight forward:

  • Established track record
  • Minimum finance requirement of A$100,000
  • Unable to access finance from commercial banks  

The process will involve Efic undertaking due diligence and the relevant credit approvals.  

Efic can also support companies which are not directly exporting but rather involved in export related supply chains.  

For more information visit www.efic.gov.au or in person Level 5, 131-139 Grenfell Street Adelaide or by phone Mr Andrew Perkins, Director SA (08) 7070 6862 or Mr Liam Carroll, Account Manager SA (08) 7070 6863.

Appointment of new Minister for Small Business

21/01/2016

Minister Martin Hamilton-Smith MP appointed Minister for Small Business at the swearing in ceremony held on Tuesday 19 January and says he is looking forward to assisting the state's small business sector.

Read the News Release

 

Penalties for misleading Small Businesses

04/01/2016

The ACCC has reported that the Federal Court has ordered that Safety Compliance Pty Ltd (Safety Compliance) pay penalties totalling $515,000 for making false or misleading representations to small businesses in connection with the supply of safety wall charts and first aid kits.

More Information

Misuse of Market Power Consultation

04/01/2016

Small business has an opportunity to comment on a new round of consultation on market power under the Competition and Consumer Act 2010.

The Federal Government has released a market power discussion paper which can be found here.

This round of consultation follows the release of the Harper Competition Policy Review which recommended the introduction of changes under an “effects” test which it argued would be more effective in bringing big businesses to account for bad behaviour.

Submissions are due by Friday 12 February 2015 and the Government has indicated it will announce a final position the following month.

While on the issue of market power, the ACCC which has responsibility for administration of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010, has launched proceedings against Woolworths alleging it engaged in unconscionable conduct in dealings with a large number of its supermarket suppliers.

This follows similar action which was successfully brought against Coles Supermarkets which led to refunds of $12 million to suppliers last year.

More information

2015

Business Start-up Grants

23/11/2015

Adelaide City Council has initiated a Business Start-up Grant to encourage new small, innovative and diverse businesses to take up underutilised and vacant buildings in the city.

They are looking for ideas that re-use empty or underutilised buildings for either:

  • Ground floor activation
  • Basement activation
  • Upper storey activation

If you are looking to start a new business in an underutilised or empty building in the city, you can apply to Adelaide City Council for grant funding of up to $30,000 to cover up to 50% of the cost to improve the building and start your business.

More Information

ACCC education campaign on new business-to-business unfair contract terms law

17/11/2015

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is urging businesses to closely review the standard form contracts they use when dealing with other businesses.

A new law will take effect on 12 November 2016, following a 12-month transition period, that offers small businesses protections against unfair contract terms offered by other (usually larger) firms.

More information

New Venture Institute

09/11/2015

Flinders University and its New Venture Institute are kicking  goals for SA’s entrepreneurs.  

Big awards night in Adelaide on Thursday 5 November with to celebrate the success of the latest entrepreneurial graduates.  

Gold eNVIe winner was “Drones over the Water”  project from Daniel Squires. His project is based on using drones cost effectively to take water samples in multiple locations and offers big possibilities for ensuring comprehensive water testing can take place in remote and difficult to reach locations as well as across large water expanses. His prize includes a $5000 travel scholarship to Austin in the United States.  

Based at Tonsley, the NVI represents a key part of Flinders’ investment in the future of South Australia and is a place where collaboration, innovation and entrepreneurship combine to deliver solutions to real world problems.  

Further info at http://nviflinders.com.au/

New Venture Institute 5/11/2015

Image: Mr Nick Begakis AO, NVI Chairman, Mr Chris Picton MP, Member for Kaurna, Minister Zoe Bettison and Professor Colin Stirling, Vice Chancellor at Flinders Uni

ACCC Small Business and Franchising Consultative Committee

30/10/2015

The ACCC’s Small Business and Franchising Consultative Committees were established to provide a forum through which competition and consumer protection concerns related to the small business and franchising sectors could be considered and addressed collaboratively.  

Expressions of interest are currently being sought for appointment to these committees for 2016-17.

More iinformation

 

FWO, Spot checks for Adelaide businesses

29/10/2015

The Fair Work Ombudsman will audit up to 125 businesses in Adelaide’s CBD and North Adelaide over the next three months as part of a new campaign.  

Fair Work inspectors will check that employers are paying the correct minimum hourly rates, penalty rates, allowances, loadings and providing appropriate meal breaks.

Read the Media Release

 

First Time Entrepreneurs Wanted for Spark Program

27/10/2015

Hub Australia are looking for people to be part of their Spark program which helps people looking for a bit of support on how to launch their idea or take their business to the next level!

Applications close soon. 

Visit the website for more information

New Laws for Unfair Contracts

15/10/2015

New laws to help small business deal with unfair contracts  are on the way with Minister for Small Business and Assistant Treasurer, the Hon Kelly O'Dwyer MP, announcing that the Federal Government has amended its original proposals to extend consumer unfair contract term protections to small businesses.

 “These important changes will cover standard form contracts where at least one of the parties employs less than 20 people, and where the upfront price of the contract does not exceed $300,000 or $1 million for contracts longer than 12 months.  

SA Small Business Commissioner John Chapman welcomed the amendments to extend the unfair contract provisions saying the original proposals for a limit of $100,000 on a contract or $250,000 for contracts greater than a year in duration did not go far enough and this office expressed its concerns to the Federal Government in this regard.

Support SA jobs and boost your chances of winning Govt work

09/10/2015

The State Government today sent a clear message to companies wanting to win Government contracts - support South Australian jobs and you’ll increase your chances of success.

Read more

BizLink Seminar to be hosted in Berri

02/10/2015

Riverland businesses will have an opportunity to seek information from a wide range of state
and federal government agencies at a BizLink seminar in Berri this month.

Read more

Industry Leaders Fund

01/10/2015

The Industry Leaders Fund continues to kick huge goals in developing SA’s future business leaders.

 Established in 2009 with a large endowment from the old Engineering Employers Association, the ILF has now awarded over $1m since 2010. 

Individuals can apply for grants of up to $50,000 to support their leadership development.  

Congratulations to Chairman Col Peters and the ILF Board and CEO Geoff Vogt on this week’s award event at the National Wine Centre where 21 grants totalling $235,000 were announced.  

Further details of the program can be found at www.industryleaders.com.au

Food & Grocery Code of Conduct

28/09/2015

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is reminding grocery suppliers about new protections they have under the Food & Grocery Code of Conduct, which has rules about grocery supply agreements, payments, termination of agreements, dispute resolution and a range of other matters.

The voluntary code complements existing protections under the Competition and Consumer Act 2010, including the unconscionable conduct provisions.

ACCC has produced a short video to help explain the code, along with more infomration about the Code and a list of current signatories. 

Click here to visit the ACCC website for more information

 

Investing in South Australia’s Small Businesses

28/09/2015

The State Government wants to hear from everyday investors on whether they would consider investing their money in our State’s small to medium enterprises (SMEs).  

As part of a Change@South Australia project, led by the Department of State Development, alternative finance options, such as crowdfunding and peer-to-peer lending, are currently being explored to help generate economic growth and create jobs for our State.  

A recent survey by KPMG, indicated that a lack of local funding decisions and a lack of South Australian located or targeted funds, were the top two barriers for accessing capital for growth in South Australia.   Alternative funding models can support our State’s economic priorities, and provide a sustainable source of capital for small business.  

Australia is not at the forefront of the world in adopting alternative finance models.  

The South Australian Government has the opportunity to play a role in the introduction of a shared economy platform that will unlock significant amounts of capital for South Australian SMEs.  

Have your say by 2 October 2015 if you think alternative finance models could be a viable option for our State.

Industry Priority Qualification Survey

01/09/2015

The Minister for Employment, Higher Education and Skills has requested that the independent Training and Skills Commission seek feedback from industry & business to identify their priority (VET) qualifications.  

Businesses are invited to participate in the Industry Priority Qualification (IPQ) Survey which will help guide future public investment in training and skills development.  This includes helping to inform future iterations of the Work Ready Subsidised Training List (STL). 

The IPQ Survey can be completed from Wednesday 9 September - Friday 9 October 2015 at www.tasc.sa.gov.au/survey

 

Small Business Tax Updates

27/08/2015

The Australian Tax Office has a Small Business Newsroom which contains brief information on key issues which small business owners need to be aware of.

In the latest edition:         

  • A reminder for those in the building and construction industry that your 2015 Taxable payments annual report is due 28 August 2015
  • Details of the $20,000 instant asset write off threshold
  • Information on webinars for small business
  • Information on new apps to help small business with ATO issues.

Further details can be found at: www.ato.gov.au/Newsroom/smallbusiness

Horticulture Code under review

27/08/2015

An issues paper for the Horticulture Code Review has now been released with stakeholders asked to lodge any submissions by Friday 18th September 2015.

Further details can be found at Horticulture Code Review website 

Small Business in Focus

31/07/2015

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has released its Small Business in Focus - 1 January - 30 June 2015 biannual report which provides a summary of the ACCC activities in the small business and franchising sectors and updates on industry codes.

View the report here

Request for information from private Registered Training Organisations

16/06/2015

The Office of the Small Business Commissioner is making inquiries into  the impact of recent changes by the State Government  to funding arrangements for Vocational Education and Training.

As a result, the Small Business Commissioner is seeking advice from private Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) on the impacts on their individual operations and actions which may eliminate or alleviate the effects of the recent changes.

The Small Business Commissioner has already commenced discussions with the Department of State Development.

Click here to go to the form which has been prepared for RTO input.

Any questions should be directed to the Office of the Small Business Commissioner on 08 8303 2026.

Small Business Fix-it Squads

21/05/2015

A new suite of resources has been developed to help small business owners choose between operating as a sole trader or under a company business structure.

This joint-agency initiative involving the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), Department of Industry and Science and Australian Taxation Office (ATO), was a result of Small Business Fix-it Squad recommendations.  

Small Business Fix-it Squads are made up of small business owners working with federal, state and local government regulators to tackle the everyday issues of running a business.  

The Department of Industry and Science will release new content on www.business.gov.au to help small business owners make informed decisions about which business structure is best for them.  

Using tools like comparison tables, fact sheet summaries, key reminders and more, the suite explains:

  • the key differences between operating as a sole trader and company
  • how to change to a company business structure, and
  • company director responsibilities.  

By becoming more aware of their responsibilities under each structure, small business owners will save time and money, by focusing on their key compliance obligations and avoiding potential penalties and fines.  

Small business owners can access these resources in one convenient location: www.business.gov.au/soletradertocompany  

Another new product being delivered is ASIC's guide for small business directors. This guide is particularly useful for small businesses changing from a sole trader to a company business structure but can also help existing small business company directors.  

All company directors, regardless of the size of their business, have duties and legal obligations. The new resources will help small businesses better understand these duties and what it means to be a company director. The guide can be accessed from the link above or directly from ASIC’s Small Business Hub at: www.asic.gov.au/small-business.  

This suite of online resources is one of a number of successful projects the ATO-led, joint agency Small Business Fix-it Squads have initiated.  

This particular suite of tools demonstrates the commitment by Australian Government agencies to working closely with small business and making it easier for them to run their operations.

Judy O'Connell
Assistant Commissioner
Small Business/Individual Taxpayers
Australian Taxation Office

Review of the Building and Construction Industry Security of Payments Act 2009

08/05/2015

In December 2014, the State Government commenced a review of the Building and Construction Industry Security of Payments Act 2009. The review was undertaken by former District and Youth Court Judge Alan Moss. 

The review was tabled in State Parliament on 12 May 2015 and can be found here.  

Ministerial Statement, Office of the Small Business Commissioner 2013-14 Annual Report

05/05/2015

Minister Tom Koutsantonis, Minister for Small Business released a Ministerial Statement in relation to the Office of the Small Business Commissioner 2013-14 Annual Report

Read more

Australian Federal Police warn public of email Traffic Infringement scam

28/04/2015

The Australian Federal Police (AFP) is urgently warning the public of an email scam currently circulating throughout Australia and internationally that requests payment for a bogus AFP Traffic Infringement Notice.

Read more

Draft Regulations – Fair Trading (Franchising Industry Dispute Resolution Code 2015 - Consultation

17/04/2015

As part of the implementation of the Small Business Commissioner’s initiative, the development of Industry Codes of Conduct under the Fair Trading Act 1987 has been a high priority.   

In developing the Industry Code Regulations under the Fair Trading Act 1987 the Government and Small Business Commissioner John Chapman and Deputy Small Business Commissioner Frank Zumbo have taken into account the initial feedback received from the discussions and initial consultations that the Small Businesses Commissioners have undertaken with regard to the development of the Code.  It is clear from that feedback that there is significant support for the Industry Codes initiative.  

 

If you require any further information or would like to arrange a briefing with the Small Business Commissioner please do not hesitate to contact the Office of the Small Business Commissioner on (08) 303 2026 or Toll-Free on 1800 072 722.

View the Draft Regulation

Unlocking Capital for Jobs

10/04/2015

Does your business need extra capital to grow and your negotiations with your financial institution are proving difficult?

The SA Government may be able to assist with a national first $50 million program “Unlocking Capital for Jobs”.

It is an innovative new initiative to make it easier for business to secure commercially viable loans where firms would otherwise not have the balance sheet strength to access finance.

Further details can be found here

Child Safe Environments

07/04/2015

New laws affecting organisations and individuals who provide services for children

From 11 April 2015, organisations providing cultural, party or entertainment services wholly or partly for children must provide a child safe environment. This includes:

  • Having in place child safe policies and procedures
  • Ensuring child-related employment screening is undertaken for positions prescribed in the Children’s Protection Act       
  • Lodging a Child Safe Environments Compliance Statement with the Department for Education and Child Development.

This is in addition to the service areas that are already covered by the Children’s Protection Act 1993.  

Sole traders, people working in partnerships and responsible authorities of organisations will also be prohibited from performing child-related work unless they have obtained either a:

  • child-related employment screening issued by the Department for Communities and Social Inclusion Screening Unit, or
  • criminal history report from SA Police or a Crim-Trac accredited agency.  

These individuals will also be required to provide evidence of their compliance with this requirement upon written request by a parent, guardian or carer.

The service areas covered are health, welfare, education, sporting or recreational, religious or spiritual, child care, cultural, entertainment, party or residential services that are provided wholly or partly for children.  

For more information, visit www.families.sa.gov.au/childsafe or email DECDChildSafe@sa.gov.au

BDO SA State Business Survey 2015 Results

02/04/2015

BDO is committed to our small to medium enterprise clients (SME) and the wider SME community. We recognise that SMEs are the heart of the South Australian economy.

In February 2015 the state government released a ‘Your Say’’ discussion papers (Discussion Paper) to promote an informed debate on state taxation reform. Proposed reforms to the state taxation system are wide-reaching and broad. Many state taxation concepts noted in the discussion paper have the potential to significantly change the state taxation environment for small to medium enterprise (SME) in South Australia.

Through our 2015 State Business Survey, BDO is committed to engaging with SMEs to seek feedback and comment from the business community on proposed changes to state taxation measures. The survey received 250 respondents. The responses have provided insights into the state of South Australia’s small to medium business community and the necessary areas for reform to promote growth and support a more productive and efficient environment.

We have identified Payroll Tax as the state-based tax of most impact to business and have focused our analysis on this core taxation measure. Importantly, over 62% of South Australian SMEs surveyed would like to see an increase in GST, combined with meaningful decreases in state taxation. While a majority of businesses that support increasing the GST would like to see an increase of less than 5%, it is noteworthy that over 18% of business respondents would be happy with a GST increase of greater than 5%.

The concept of reducing overall state taxation in favour of increasing the GST is a real option for business.

To view the BDO State Business Survey results for 2015, click here.

Australian Tax Office

27/03/2015

Let’s Talk!…about taking on an employee

Invitation to all Small Business owners to join our online consultation forum  

Throughout March, we are hosting a conversation with interested small business owners on our online consultation forum: Let’s Talk.  

We are keen to hear the experiences small business owners have had with taking on an employee, as well as ideas for improvements.  

It’s quick and easy to register so you can share your experiences and see what others are saying about taking on employees.  

Go Let’s Talk and then to the Small Business Fix-it Squad discussion.  

 Why are we having this conversation?

To improve the interactions that small business owners have with government agencies, the ATO is leading a cross-agency initiative called Small Business Fix-it Squads.  

These squads are unique because small business owners and the different government agencies work together in a team to look at issues from the small business owner’s perspective – with a focus on identifying and reducing red tape.  

Red tape includes processes that take up the valuable time of the small business owner. Red tape could be a complex or repetitive process, or the time taken to find government information (and understand it).  

Go Let’s Talk and then to the Small Business Fix-it Squad discussion.      

Interested in working with us in the future to improve ATO products and services?

Join our Small Business Consultation Panel

Visit www.ato.gov.au/jointhepanel

BizLink Seminars 2015

13/03/2015

Small Business Commissioner, John Chapman announces plans for BizLink Seminars for 2015

Read more here

2014

New Small Business Commissioner

26/09/2014

Small Business Minister Tom Koutsantonis announced that John Chapman has been appointed as the State's new Small Business Commissioner.

Find out more »

SCLAA Energy Efficiency Information Program and Awards 2014

03/09/2014

The Supply Chain and Logistics Association of Australia (SCLAA) was the recipient of an energy efficiency information grant from the Australian Government, and is undertaking a national information program designed to help small to medium sized businesses in the Transport and Warehouse sectors better understand and manage their use of energy.

The SCLAA has created a website of information to help businesses understand where and how energy is used in their business and provide guidance and strategies to reduce energy use and stabilise operational costs. There are a number of resources and tools available on their website including Guides and information facts sheets to assist with data systems and management, identifying opportunities, evaluating opportunities and how to implement energy efficient measures within a business. Other tools include an Energy Saver Calculator to evaluate energy efficiency opportunities in your business and workshops and webinars to improve knowledge. Included are further resources and opportunities to explore in your sector. Visit the SCLAA national energy efficiency information program website at http://energy-efficiency.sclaa.com.au/home.

There are two workshops being held in South Australia to assist small to medium businesses. For dates and further information, download the following brochures. Register for this FREE event by Thursday 11 September, via email to secretary@sclaa.com.au or call 1300 364 160.

17 September 2014 - Whyalla
Power your SME business into the future - Whyalla (570 kb, PDF)

18 Septembe 2014 - Adelaide
Power your SME business into the future - Adelaide (570 kb, PDF)

 

Australian Supply Chain & Logistics Award 2014

The SCLAA wants to recognise small and medium enterprises that are leading Australia in energy efficiency and will be awarding 8 Awards in 2014 - one from each State or Territory and the overall best will be awarded the National Award in November 2014. For further information on the selection criteria and the nomination form, please download the following brochure -

2014 Small - Medium Business Energy Efficiency Awards (530 kb, PDF)

Nominations close on Friday 24 October 2014.

 

“Unfair Contract Terms” Consultation Paper

05/06/2014

The Commonwealth Government has released a Discussion Paper on extending unfair contract term protections to small business, and is seeking submissions by 1 August 2014. 

There are three ways for you to get involved and have your say about the extension of protection against unfair contract terms to small business:-

1.       Make a formal submission on the consultation paper.

2.       Submit a brief comment on your experience with unfair contract terms.

3.       Undertake a 10-15 minute survey on your experience with business contracts.

A copy of the Discussion Paper is available here.

Review of the Retail and Commerical Leases and Building and Construction Industry Security of Payments Acts

19/12/1914

The State Government is reviewing the above Acts which are committed to the Minister for Small Business, Hon. Tom Koutsantonis MP.

The Small Business Commissioner is responsible for the administration of the Acts. The reviews are being undertaken by Mr Alan Moss – a former Deputy Crown Solicitor, Chief Magistrate, District Court and Youth Court Judge.

The Government is calling for submissions from interested parties and stakeholders and written submissions should be forwarded to:

The Office of the Small Business Commissioner

GPO Box 1264

ADELAIDE SA 5001

Closing date for submissions is Friday 13th February 2015

Any inquiries should be directed to (08) 8303 2026 or 1800 072 722

Brief Issues Papers can be found:

Retail and Commercial Leases Act 1995 Issues Paper

Building and Construction Industry Security of Payments Act 2009 Issues Paper

2013

WHS Codes of Practice

22/10/2013

The Work Health and Safety Act 2012 (SA) commenced operation in South Australia on 1 January 2013.

During the debate on the above legislation in the Legislative Council last year, the Hon. John Darley MLC successfully introduced a number of amendments. One of those amendments included a statutory role for the Small Business Commissioner to be consulted and to assess whether or how a Code would affect small business.

The Small Business Commissioner provided the Minister for Industrial Relations advice and feedback on the 12 draft Codes that were issued earlier this year.

A copy of this advice can be downloaded here

 

For more information ....

Launch of Farming Code of Conduct at Royal Show

11/09/2013

On the morning of 11 September 2013 the Minister for Small Business, the Hon Tom Kenyon MP, Small Business Commissioner, Mike Sinkunas and Deputy Small Business Commissioner, Frank Zumbo officially launched the Farming Code of Conduct at the Royal Show.

“The Farming Code of Conduct, the first of its type in Australia gives primary producers direct access to a mandatory dispute resolution process, which will allow disputes to be handled in a timely and effective way, as well as providing the greatest potential for resolution without the need for litigation.  Importantly, the Code will be backed by financial penalties, giving it real teeth,” Mr Kenyon said.

Since commencing in March 2012 the Office of the Small Business Commissioner has been contacted by over 300 farmers seeking advice and assistance on a range of issues including farm machinery, banking and financial matters, water allocation, licensing and non-payment for goods and services.  The Farming Code of Conduct will assist farmers by providing an alternative dispute resolution service which includes mandatory mediation. 

Consultation with the farming industry was sought by Minister Kenyon. Feedback and comments closed 11 October 2013.

For more information

2012

Written Submissions for Inset Electricity Networks Due

21/02/2013

Written submissions to the Office of the Small Business Commissioner regarding Inset (or Embedded) Electricity Networks are due by COB 21 February 2013.

SUBMISSIONS ARE NOW CLOSED

 

Inquiry into Inset (or Embedded) Electricity Networks - Terms of Reference

18/12/2012

The objective of the Inquiry is to gain a clear understanding of the ways in which inset or embedded electricity networks operate in the following three areas:

  • Shopping Centres;
  • Office or Commercial buildings; and
  • Industrial parks.

Caravan parks will not fall within the scope of this Inquiry, because they generally operate in a non-business consumer to business context.

The Inquiry will examine and prepare a report for the Minister for Small Business outlining:

  • Pricing arrangements currently in place for different inset networks and for different inset customers;
  • Methodology employed by inset operators to determine pricing of electricity delivered through their inset network;
  • Ability for inset customers to purchase electricity from providers other than the operator of the inset network; and
  • Recommendations to ensure transparency and fairness of electricity reselling in this area.

The Inquiry will consult widely with inset network operators and inset customers within a business to small business context. The Inquiry will also liaise with the Essential Services Commission of South Australia.

Initially, information will be sought from inset network operators and inset customers initially on a cooperative and voluntary basis. Where necessary, for the purposes of the Inquiry, the Small Business Commissioner may formally require a person to provide information in accordance with his powers under the Small Business Commissioner Act 2011.

The Small Business Commissioner will endeavour to maintain the confidentiality of information received and will treat all information provided to the Inquiry sensitively, subject to and in accordance with relevant legal requirements. The Small Business Commissioner Act 2011 creates a criminal offence for the unauthorised disclosure of information obtained in the course of the Inquiry.

Update on the Retail Shop Leases Fund under the Retail and Commercial Leases Act 1995

31/10/2012

The administration of the Retail and Commercial Leases Act 1995 was transferred to the Small Business Commissioner earlier this year.

As part of this change the management of the Retail Shop Leases Fund has been moved from Consumer and Business Services to the Office of the Small Business Commissioner. This has occurred progressively in order to have a seamless transition. This transition is now being finalised and the Small Business Commissioner can advise the following:

  • New facilities are available for Direct Debit Requests (DDR) for Bond lodgements and Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) for Bond refunds. The Small Business Commissioner encourages the utilisation of these methods. All cheques for Retail and Commercial Bonds are required to written to the Retail Shop Leases Fund.
  • New Retail and Commercial tenancies forms for Lessees, Lessors and Agents are now available to download from the Retail Bonds page on this site.

For any Retail and Commercial Bond enquiries, please contact the Office of the Small Business Commissioner on Toll Free 1800 072 722 or 8303 2026 or via the enquiry form on the website.

 

 

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