Help­ing small busi­nesses in Cen­tral

Central Otago Mirror - - CONVERSATIONS - JAC­QUI DEAN

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.

SUP­PLIED

Jac­qui Dean is MP for Waitaki

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