Skip to Content

Change body font size

Inform | Mediate | Advocate

Newsroom

Keep up to date with the Office of the Small Business Commissioner News and other information relating to small business.

SA Business Bushfire Recovery Grants

09/01/2020

Further information on the grants can be found here

business.sa.gov.au/bushfires

The State Government have announced grants for businesses located within the bushfire-affected regions of Cudlee Creek and Kangaroo Island can apply for grants of up to $10,000 to help with clean-up and immediate restoration costs.

Eligible small businesses are able to claim up to $10,000 to help with clean-up and immediate restoration costs.

Small businesses are eligible for a recovery grant if they are located within the bushfire-affected regions of Cudlee Creek and Kangaroo Island have suffered direct damage to premises and/or tools of trade are a registered business and has less than 20 full time employees provide more than 50% of the owner’s total gross income.  

For more information about eligibility criteria, read the Grant Guidelines.  

To fast-track the assessment of an application and claims, applicants are encouraged to apply online at www.business.sa.gov.au/bushfires  

You can also lodge completed application forms including required documentation with the Department for Innovation and Skills by the following methods:  

Email: DISSmallBusiness@sa.gov.au  

Post: GPO Box 320, Adelaide SA 5001  

If you have difficulty understanding or completing the application form, please contact the Department for Innovation and Skills on (08) 8429 3242.

Click here for more details.

 

 

Support for Farmers, Growers and Small Business Owners affected by Bushfires

27/12/2019

Our office is ready to assist with any enquiries related to business impacts and the bushfires on 1800 072 722. For the latest government financial assistance information please go to business.sa.gov.au

We are saddened that many South Australians have been impacted by the recent bushfires and our condolences go out to those who have lost family members or have been injured. We also thank our CFS and other volunteers who have worked tirelessly to protect all of us.

A number of small business owners, farmers and growers, particularly in the Adelaide Hills and on Kangaroo Island have lost their businesses and it will take many years to recover. Many farmers have lost their livestock and feed as well as machinery. People affected by the fire and who need assistance should call the Rural Recovery Hotline on 1800 302 787 in the first instance.

We work closely with Rural Business Support (RBS) and RBS will be able to help eligible growers to develop and implement plans to recover including:

  •   Helping to develop and implement plans to return to ‘normal’ operations
  •   Preparing cash flow forecasts to meet financial obligations
  •   Assistance with preparing for discussions with banks, lenders and insurance companies

 Any grower, farmer or small business owner affected by the bushfires who’s feeling concerned about their financial situation can call 1800 836 211 to talk through their situation with a rural financial counsellor and receive support with moving forward.

RBS has also appointed rural financial counsellor Paul Erkelenz to lead the response to the Adelaide Hills fire and Russell Trainor for the Kangaroo Island fires. Paul and Russell will be available to attend any community engagement events focussed on primary industries or small rural business recovery.

  • Paul Erkelenz (0437 321 107) – p.erkelenz@ruralbusinesssupport.org.au
  • Russell Trainor (0418 850 251) – r.trainor@ruralbusinesssupport.org.au

Primary Industries and Regions SA has a 24 hour hotline to assist with agricultural impacts or urgent animal issues that cannot be dealt with through normal veterinary or community services resulting from the bushfires and other emergencies. The Agriculture and Animal Services Hotline is 1800 255 556.

It is important to know that there are a range of health support services to help those affected by the bushfires  through this stressful and uncertain time and further details can be found here. 

Retail and Commercial Leasing Act Amendment Bill 2019

12/12/2019

A series of amendments to the Retail and Commercial Leases Act 1995 completed their passage through the South Australian Parliament on Thursday 12th December 2019.

It is important to note that the amendments will not come into effect until formal proclamation planned for early 2020.

The amendments aim to build on the existing protective measures for lessees under the Act and include:

  • Allowing leases to move in and out of the Act;
  • Clarifying the application of GST;
  • Establishing a formal process through the Valuer-General to review the rent threshold which currently stands at $400,000;
  • Providing an option of a landlord to register a new lease which is above the current  $400,000 threshold so that the lease will not be captured by the Act should the threshold increase;
  • Requiring increased requirements for disclosure of information by landlords to tenants; Increasing penalties for breaches of the Act (broadly in line with CPI between 1995 and 2015) and introducing two new penalties;
  • Increasing the value of a bond from up to four weeks rent to up to three months’ rent; Amending the definition of a public company, and also providing protection to charity groups which may use a public company structure but are registered with the Australian Charities and Not for Profit Commission;
  • Excluding overseas companies from coverage of the Act if they are registered on an international stock exchange:

A number of technical amendments are also included in the Bill.

These proposed amendments align with the Government’s agenda for small business as they will assist in making South Australia a more attractive place to invest and grow business.

A copy of the Retail and Commercial Leases (Miscellaneous) Amendment Bill 2019 as passed by Parliament can be found here

New guidelines to reduce impact on small business from roadworks

30/10/2019

Open for to Business – Making Roadworks Work

State and Local Governments will be expected to follow a new blueprint on managing roadworks impacts on small businesses according to Small Business Commissioner John Chapman.  

The new document “Open for to Business – Making Roadworks Work” was released at a forum of Small Business Friendly Councils convened by the Small Business Commissioner today.  

“Both levels of Government will have no excuses for not adopting the principles laid out in this document,” Mr Chapman said.  

“In my role, the issue of roadworks affecting small businesses has been one of the most difficult to deal with as Governments seem to think it is okay to rip up and close roads with little consideration of the impact on small businesses” Mr Chapman said. 

Full media release

More information

Small Business Commissioner calls for legislation to improve small business payment times in his 2018/19 Annual Report

29/10/2019

OSBC 2018/19 Annual Report

The South Australian Small Business Commissioner is calling for new legislation to compel big businesses to pay small businesses on time. 

 “Simply it is time for a legislative approach which forces big businesses to not only implement better payment terms but also report on their performance,” Small Business Commissioner John Chapman said.  

“To see businesses having to wait 90 days or more for payment is simply unacceptable – small businesses are not banks for big business.”  

Expanding on his comments in his 2018/19 Annual Report tabled in State Parliament, Mr Chapman said the benefits to small business from improved and consistent cash flow would be immense.  

“There are more than 143,000 small businesses in South Australia and my office consistently deals with issues around delayed payments.”  

Mr Chapman said the State Government should pursue this area with vigour through the Council of Australian Government (COAG) to implement national legislation to force bigger businesses to improve their payment terms.  

The Small Business Commissioner noted that the Federal Government is now seeking to enshrine better payment terms for small business as part of new tender arrangements and is developing a national large business reporting framework to encourage fairer, faster payment times and terms for small business.  

But he was critical that big business was not improving their behaviour in this area. Mr Chapman noted that the Business Council of Australia had implemented a voluntary payment code for its big business members but there is no mandatory reporting requirement in terms of payment performance and the take up by members has been lukewarm.  

“Unfortunately, we need legislation to ensure fairness and to address the imbalance of power between big and small businesses – 30-day terms as a legislated maximum would be a good start.”   At that point, there could be a requirement to pay interest on the outstanding amount after 30 days, similar to that which the South Australian Government is legally required to adopt under its Late Payment of Government Debts (Interest) Act 2013.  

Mr Chapman backed his argument with statistics from accounting software firm, Xero, which has stated that late payments to Small and Medium Businesses are a systemic problem and that their data showed that payments arrive on average 23 days late. Xero calculated the value of “big business late payments to small business at $1.15 billion a year.”  

Mr Chapman said a simple way to address this would be through unfair contract terms law which the Federal Government has committed to improve.  

“Simply you could require that any contract term which has a payment clause outside of 30 days be declared illegal and that the ACCC would have the powers to apply a penalty and, if necessary, prosecute the offending business,” Mr Chapman said.  

The Small Business Commissioner proposed the initial threshold to commence with publicly listed companies and their subsidiaries who would have to report publicly on their payments performance.  

Download the annual report

 

Was this page useful to you?

Please include your contact details if you would like us to follow up with you on the issue you have raised. Thank You.