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

Berri Barmera Council becomes Small Business Friendly

17/08/2018

Small Business Commissioner John Chapman will be in Berri today for the official signing ceremony for the Berri Barmera Council to join the Small Business Friendly Council Initiative.

Berri Barmera Council becomes the first Council in the Riverland and the twenty third Council in total to sign up to the Initiative, which is being coordinated through the Office of the Small Business Commissioner in partnership with the Local Government Association of South Australia. The Initiative aims to simplify interactions between councils and small businesses, and to recognise councils that are working to support their small business communities.

The Initiative was launched on 30th August 2017 in Whyalla, whose Council was the first to sign up. Since then, 16 regional councils and 7 metropolitan councils have signed up to the initiative and committed to the Charter Agreement which contains a number of principles, including a commitment to liaise with small businesses on a regular basis; prompt payment of accounts; commitment to local procurement wherever possible; and having a dispute resolution process if problems arise.

Mr Chapman congratulated Berri Barmera Council and said that the Initiative is particularly important for those regional small businesses who often have difficulty gaining access to essential resources needed to run their business.

“I am hopeful that regional small businesses will benefit from their Council signing up to this initiative as it will provide them with much-needed support and open the lines of communication.”

Mayor of Berri Barmera Council, Peter Hunt and Council CEO, André Stuyt were present for the signing of the Charter Agreement and said they look forward to working more closely with the small businesses in the region.

“Coming from a small business background myself, I can attest that the local businesses in this region have always embodied a true community spirit. The Initiatives set out in the Charter Agreement are in line with the services that the Council intends on implementing in order to better support our local small business community” Mayor Hunt said.

The number of Councils who have already committed to the initiative within its first year shows that a program such as this was needed. Participating Councils will work with the support of the Office of the Small Business Commissioner to meet the five required initiatives of the program, some of which are already in place in some councils.

“Some Councils are already achieving results in their existing programs. Participating in this initiative provides them with the recognition they deserve for the work they are already doing and also shows their small business community that they are in their corner” Mr Chapman said. “Small businesses are an integral part of the economic growth of our State and it’s the small things we can do to make it easier for small businesses that will essentially assist them in their journey.”

More information about the Small Business Friendly Council Initiative as well as a list of the participating Councils can be found here

City of Adelaide joins Small Business Friendly Council Initiative

09/08/2018

Today marks a step in the right direction for Adelaide small businesses as the City of Adelaide signs up to the Small Business Friendly Council Initiative.

The Right Honourable Lord Mayor of Adelaide Martin Haese, City of Adelaide Acting Chief Executive Beth Davidson-Park and Small Business Commissioner John Chapman gathered for the official signing ceremony held in Adelaide Town Hall today.

The City of Adelaide has an extensive list of services available to small businesses, which includes their Enterprise Adelaide Business Advisors, who provide valuable support through their one-on-one programs, and their Economic Insights Dashboard, an online tool offering a range of data on key city indicators including demographics, the economy, employment, city businesses, property and tourism.

According to the City of Adelaide’s Economic Insights Dashboard there are 5,196 businesses operating in the Council area, employing 115,465 people (data from 2016).

“By signing up to the Small Business Commissioner’s Initiative, Council is demonstrating its strong support for over 5,000 small to medium sized businesses across the City of Adelaide,” the Lord Mayor said.

“Council recognises the vital role that SMEs play in providing jobs and greater opportunity for so many South Australians.”

The City of Adelaide is the twenty second Council to sign up to the Small Business Friendly Council Initiative, which is being coordinated through the Office of the Small Business Commissioner in partnership with the Local Government Association of South Australia. The Initiative aims to simplify interactions between councils and small businesses, and to recognise councils that are working to support their small business communities.

Councils have a significant responsibility in ensuring they are providing support and services to these businesses, and creating open and transparent communications with their local business community.

The Initiative was launched on 30th August 2017 in Whyalla, whose Council was the first to sign up. Since then, 15 regional councils and 7 metropolitan councils have signed up to the Initiative and committed to the general Charter Agreement which contains a number of principles, including a commitment to liaise with small businesses on a regular basis, prompt payment of accounts, commitment to local procurement wherever possible and having a dispute resolution process if problems arise.

In addition, each council is asked to implement three initiatives per year to foster and support small business in their local area.

“I am so pleased that the City of Adelaide has recognised the value in this program and cemented their commitment to businesses in the CBD and North Adelaide,” Small Business Commissioner John Chapman said.

“This Initiative will assist councils as well as their small business community in developing a collaborative approach to how small businesses are supported by their local councils. Improving this relationship is essential to the growth of the State’s economic development.” 

Australian Building and Construction Commission

03/08/2018

Code Covered Entities and Security of Payment

The Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC) has responsibility for monitoring the Code for the Tendering and Performance of Building Work 2016 (Code), which includes security of payment provisions. 

The Code covers contractors and subcontractors who have expressed interest in or tendered for Commonwealth funded building work since 2 December 2016.  These contractors are known as ‘code covered entities.’

Once you become a code covered entity, you must comply with the security of payment obligations in the Code on all building work awarded to you from then on, including private projects.

The ABCC can assist code covered contractors and subcontractors understand their obligations and rights under the Code.

There are a number of requirements placed on code covered entities that are intended to help ensure that progress payments are made in a timely manner.

There are new mandatory reporting requirements under the Code for when code covered contractors must report any disputed or delayed progress payments to the ABC Commissioner.  These requirements must be transitioned to by code covered contractors by 1 September 2018.

If you are a subcontractor who is owed money, the ABCC can help you to identify if the contractor who owes you money, is a code covered entity.

A code covered entity that breaches the Code may find that the ABCC recommends that they are not able to tender for Commonwealth funded building work.

More information is available on the ABCC website at www.abcc.gov.au/securityofpayment or you can contact them via email enquiry@abcc.gov.au or phone 1800 003 338.

For more details on Security of Payment click here.

Marshall Government delivers another win for farmers

26/07/2018

The Marshall Government has delivered on an important election promise to provide greater protection and financial security for farmers, with the Farm Debt Mediation Bill today passing through the South Australian Parliament.

The new legislation will enforce a mandatory mediation process before a creditor is able to foreclose on a farming operation.

“South Australians farmers can rest assured the Marshall Government is supporting our farmers and has now put in place a mechanism to help protect their financial interests,” said Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development Tim Whetstone.

“I’d like to thank the many stakeholders whose input and support helped shape this legislation, from our primary producers through to the financial services sector.

“Farming can be an unpredictable and challenging industry, leaving farming families and their assets vulnerable in times of financial crisis.

“That’s why the Marshall Government has moved to ensure farmers have greater financial security.

“This scheme gives our farmers something more to rely upon in difficult times, knowing they will now have enshrined in law the right to a mandatory process to resolve financial problems by presenting their case with an independent mediator.

“A healthy and supported agriculture sector is vital to the State’s future economic prosperity.

“We want to ensure that South Australian farmers are given every opportunity to succeed, meet the growing demand for agricultural produce, and contribute to regional prosperity, the state’s economy, jobs and exports.

“Mandatory farm debt mediation already operates successfully in New South Wales, Victoria and now Queensland.

“The Marshall Government is ensuring South Australian farmers have the same protections as their counterparts on the eastern seaboard.”

The South Australian Small Business Commissioner will take on the administration of the new scheme, as soon as the Governor proclaims the commencement of the Farm Debt Mediation Act 2018.

Government services head to the Barossa to network with local small businesses

21/05/2018

Small businesses in the Barossa region of South Australia will get a unique opportunity next month to connect with a number of Local, State and Federal Government agencies who provide services and advice to small businesses.  

The Office of the Small Business Commissioner will be holding its popular BizLink Small Business Expo in the Barossa on Thursday 21 June 2018.  

The Expo will be the second one held this year with the first being held on Tuesday 1 May at the Adelaide Hills Convention Centre as part of the May Business Month organised by the Adelaide Hills and Mount Barker District Councils. The event was a success with nearly 60 businesses attending on the night.  

Small Business Commissioner, John Chapman, has been facilitating the BizLink program for the last three years and has been pleased to see that the number of businesses interested in the program continues to increase.  

“The response from our last BizLink Small Business Expo was great. Seeing so many local business people attend and hear about the services that they can access from government, shows that we have a valued program” Mr Chapman said.  

Exhibitors at the event include Australian Taxation Office, AusIndustry Business Services, SafeWork SA, Environment Protection Authority and the Department of Industry and Skills. The Town of Gawler and Regional Development Australia – Barossa (RDA) have also been involved in the arrangements for the event and will also be exhibitors on the day.  

Many business owners who attend this event are surprised at the number of services that are available from government and have provided positive feedback about the content of these Seminars.  

“Everyone that attends get something out of the event, whether it be in relation to payroll tax, environmental requirements, compliance, industrial relations or grants – there is something for every business to learn and benefit from” Mr Chapman said. “The beauty of this program is that time poor small businesses can attend and spend 5 minutes or 50 minutes gathering the information that they need, it’s up to them.”  

RDA Barossa, Chief Executive, Anne Moroney said “The great thing about attending Bizlink is that in addition to the up to date information, business owners get to meet the people they need to call when they have a problem.  This is an opportunity not to be missed!”  

The BizLink Small Business Expo will be held on Thursday 21 June 2018 from 5pm – 7pm at the Vine Inn Barossa, 14-22 Murray Street, Nuriootpa.  

Registration to attend these events is essential and can be done through the Office of the Small Business Commissioner website at www.sasbc.sa.gov.au/events or by contacting the office on 8303 2026. 

 

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