Helping small businesses in Central
As Small Business Minister, one of my goals is to ensure that the Government is better connected with small business operators in places like Central Otago and Wanaka.
That means ensuring that we are more aware of the local issues affecting people, that small businesses operators feel that their views are being heard in Wellington and that the services and support which the Government has put in place is worthwhile and valuable.
Small businesses face unique challenges - money is tight and managing costs and keeping themselves and their staff in work are important focuses.
Business owners tell me that they want to know how to do things faster and smarter, without adding costs or spending too long on compliance issues. I am very aware of these issues and I am pleased that the Government provides some great tools to support this important sector.
Whether you are starting out in business, or are well established, Government agencies offer a wide range of options to help small businesses succeed.
Most Government programmes aim to help by boosting skills and knowledge, or supporting innovative business ventures.
The Regional Business Partner Network has some great options to help businesses grow. There’s advice and support on exporting and moving into new markets, development of new products and services, and funding for research and development.
There are 14 regional business partners throughout the country and the network is supported by the Government’s New Zealand Trade and Enterprise and Callaghan Innovation.
There is also a huge amount of support available free online at business.govt.nz.
This includes how to start a business, how to grow it once it’s up and running, hiring and managing people, tax and accounting and what laws apply to your business.
I have been delighted to host a series of small business roadshows around the country, including a very successful one in Cromwell recently, connecting with local operators and promoting the services on offer to them. This has also been a great way to hear about the needs of small operators and I am determined that this is only the start as I move to ensure that the Government is better connected with this important group.
The input of small businesses in places like Central Otago is crucial to the decision making process and it’s my role to ensure that local views are heard.
From retailers, to farmers, to builders, there are over 500,000 small business operators in this country, employing over 2 million people and contributing $217 million to this country’s GDP.
They are a huge and important part of our economy and as a Government we are committed to helping these small enterprises thrive and grow.
Jacqui Dean is MP for Waitaki