Busi­ness of Min­is­ter

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS -

A HAND­FUL of Port Dou­glas busi­nesses had the chance to get in the ear of Fed­eral Small Busi­ness Min­is­ter Bren­dan O’Con­nor last week.

Mr O’Con­nor met with the small busi­ness op­er­a­tors last Fri­day at a meet­ing con­vened by Tourism Port Dou­glas and Dain­tree chair­man Gor­don Well­ham.

THE is­sue of pay­ing for­eign back­pack­ers su­per­an­nu­a­tion and the dif­fi­culty of ob­tain­ing fi­nance were among the is­sues raised by Se­abean café own­ers Henry and Les­ley John­ston.

“Su­per­an­nu­a­tion is a big burden on small busi­ness,” he said.

“Why should we pay su­per­an­nu­a­tion to itin­er­ant back­pack­ers who af­ter leav­ing the coun­try leave it be­hind.

“We should not have to pay su­per­an­nu­a­tion to these

if they don`t claim peo­ple it.”

He said it was al­most im­pos­si­ble to get a loan to buy the busi­ness.

“We weren`t able to get fi­nance be­cause we were in Port Dou­glas and it was a res­tau­rant,” he said.

“For­tu­nately Kim Kelly of Ad­vance Cairns was able to pre­pare a busi­ness plan which spoke the lan­guage of bankers that got us over the line.”

Mr O’Con­nor said the meet­ing was good op­por­tu­nity to hear about the chal­lenges fac­ing Aus­tralia’s small busi­ness sec­tor.

“The Gov­ern­ment un­der­stands that small busi­nesses, par­tic­u­larly those in the tourism in­dus­try, have taken a beat­ing as a re­sult of the high Aussie dol­lar,” he said.

“That’s why we are work­ing with in­di­vid­ual busi- nesses to help them in­no­vate and re­main com­pet­i­tive through the En­ter­prise Con­nect pro­gram.

“We’ve based two busi­ness ad­vis­ers in Cairns with a fur­ther ad­viser at­tached to the Re­mote En­ter­prise Cen­tre work­ing in the re­gion.

“To­gether, En­ter­prise Con­nect has con­ducted 367 busi­ness re­views and pro­vided 178 tai­lored ad­vi­sory ser­vice grants to small and medium en­ter­prises in re­gional North Queens­land. Of these, 50 busi­ness re­views and 27 tai­lored ad­vi­sory ser­vices grants were pro­vided to tourism busi­nesses.

“The ad­vi­sory ser­vice pro­gram pro­vided by Ad­vance Cairns BEC has as­sisted 251 busi­nesses.”

Small busi­ness own­ers can also get ad­vice from the Small Busi­ness Sup­port Line (SBSL) on 1800 77 7275.

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