Sup­port­ing our small busi­nesses

Central Otago Mirror - - CONVERSATIONS - JAC­QUI DEAN

The growth and ex­pan­sion that we’re see­ing around Cen­tral Otago at the mo­ment is ex­cit­ing.

When I visit the area I can feel a real buzz in the air. There’s a new con­fi­dence that is be­ing re­flected in the busi­ness sec­tor as peo­ple in­vest in new en­ter­prises, or de­velop cur­rent op­er­a­tions.

Many of you will be aware of the ex­pan­sion of Alexan­dra’s Place­mak­ers and New World su­per­mar­ket. Faigan’s Store at Millers Flat has new Auck­land own­ers, a new restau­rant Paulina’s is open in Clyde,

Qual­ity Floor­ing First Alexan­dra has re­cently opened, as has B&M Join­ery in Cromwell, while Cromwell Phar­macy is ex­pand­ing and open­ing an­other store.

As the new Min­is­ter of Small Busi­ness, and as your lo­cal MP, I am com­mit­ted to en­sur­ing that this growth con­tin­ues be­cause it will en­cour­age fur­ther in­vest­ment, im­prove prop­erty prices, cre­ate jobs and a bet­ter qual­ity of life.

Small busi­nesses are the back­bone of the New Zealand econ­omy. They ac­count for around 97 per­cent of busi­ness.

It’s in­ter­est­ing that what we are see­ing in Cen­tral Otago is be­ing mir­rored else­where in the coun­try, with around a third of small busi­nesses re­port­ing an in­crease in their rev­enue in the past 12 months.

I am fo­cused on help­ing small busi­nesses get ahead be­cause in do­ing so the whole com­mu­nity ben­e­fits. I am look­ing for­ward to catch­ing up with Cen­tral Otago’s busi­ness com­mu­nity at an Alexan­dra, Clyde and Dis­tricts Busi­ness Break­fast on Fri­day and am keen to con­sult on ways that the Gov­ern­ment can con­tinue to sup­port the area.

Na­tional has al­ready in­tro­duced many ini­tia­tives to help small busi­ness, in­clud­ing cut­ting ACC levies by around $2 bil­lion a year since 2011, which in turn has put more money back into work­ers, busi­nesses, and mo­tor ve­hi­cle own­ers’ pock­ets.

We’ve helped keep in­ter­est rates low and in­tro­duced 90-day tri­als, and a start­ing-out wage, to give busi­nesses the con­fi­dence to take on new staff and give them a chance.

The Re­source Man­age­ment

Act has been over­hauled to re­duce costs and de­lays for busi­nesses, and we’re rolling out faster broad­band to al­most 12,000 peo­ple around Alexan­dra, Clyde, Cromwell and Roxburgh as part of phase two of our Ul­tra-Fast Broad­band pro­gramme.

The tax sys­tem is also a key is­sue for small busi­nesses, that’s why we’ve also an­nounced a busi­ness-fo­cused tax pack­age that will be pos­i­tive, par­tic­u­larly for smaller op­er­a­tors. The aim is to re­duce com­pli­ance costs and make tax sim­pler.

Con­trac­tors are also be­ing sup­ported and will be able to choose a with­hold­ing tax rate that suits their needs, rather than hav­ing one set for them.

As we’ve seen in Cen­tral

Otago, if small busi­nesses suc­ceed, the lo­cal econ­omy is boosted and the whole com­mu­nity thrives.


Jac­qui Dean is the MP for Waitaki.

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