Go local: Morrison Government continuing to support small businesses in Bonner

The Morrison Government is building on its support for small businesses by $8 million to extend the Go Local First campaign for another 12 months.

The national campaign, which is coordinated by the Council of Small Business Organisations Australia (COSBOA), urges Australians to buy locally in their communities as part of our COVID-19 recovery.

Federal Member for Bonner Ross Vasta MP said this was great news for the 14,556 small businesses in Bonner who contribute to making sure the local economy thrives.

“I am so thrilled to see the Morrison Government’s ongoing commitment to supporting our local small businesses,” Mr Vasta said.

“Campaigns just like Go Local First are driving awareness for more Australians to buy local, especially during this time when we are focused on securing our recovery and creating more local jobs.”

“I recently had the pleasure of catching up with Rachel Ooi who is a Financial Advisor at Your Wealth Consultants in Wynnum. It was fantastic to hear her support for how the Morrison Government is backing businesses, giving them the confidence during this time to ensure they are continuing to achieve their goals and exceed their targets.”

“Having businesses expand or new businesses open in Bonner on a regular basis makes me so proud to see the Morrison Government’s recovery plan in action. I encourage everyone in our local community to support this campaign and remember to Go Local First!”

Minister for Employment, Workforce, Skills, Small and Family Business, Stuart Robert, said Go Local First is aimed at strengthening local economies and creating local jobs amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Australia’s 3.5 million small and family-owned businesses are the lifeblood of our local communities and have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19 economic conditions,” Minister Robert said.

“As we rebuild from COVID-19, the Morrison Government is ensuring small and family businesses can benefit by building confidence in our community to shop locally.”

Minister Robert said the campaign, launched in July 2020, will run throughout 2021 and into next year, highlighting the crucial role small business plays in our nation’s economy, in keeping communities thriving and creating local jobs.

Research showed 78 per cent of those who had seen the campaign said they would spend with small local businesses over multinationals, compared with only 56 per cent of those who had not seen the campaign.

The campaign will build on this success achieved throughout 2020 in encouraging Australians to choose local small businesses when buying products and services to help support local jobs. For more information, visit www.golocalfirst.com.au.

Image: Federal Member for Bonner Ross Vasta MP and Your Wealth Consultants Wynnum Financial Advisor Rachel Ooi.

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Supporting Bonner Small and Family Businesses to help drive our economic recovery

To secure Australia’s recovery, the Morrison Government will continue to support tens of thousands of Bonner’s small and family businesses—the backbone of our community.

As part of the 2021-22 Budget, the Morrison Government will back small businesses by continuing tax incentives which will allow around 20,400 businesses in Bonner to write off the full value of eligible asset they purchase.

Additionally, around 8,200 businesses in Bonner will be able to use the extended loss carry back measure to support cashflow confidence. This has helped businesses invest more in the local economy and create local jobs.

Federal Member for Bonner Ross Vasta MP said supporting local small and family businesses will help to stimulate more economic activity and create more jobs.

“Bonner is home to incredible small and family owned businesses. Backing these businesses, means we are making sure they are able to thrive and keep Australian’s in jobs, which is more important than ever,” said Mr Vasta.

“The support delivered by the Morrison Government is impacting businesses like Chocolate Elements which has just opened in Wynnum. Last week I had the pleasure of dropping in on store owners Phil and Dawn, a couple who have put their heart and soul into starting this delicious business.

“Being a new business, Phil and Dawn are really pleased with the support our Morrison Government is delivering, making sure not only their business, but all existing and future small businesses can feel supported as we recover from COVID-19.”

In more good news, around 1,000 small brewers and distillers across the country will benefit from $255 million in tax relief to support more jobs and investment as part of the Budget, including Wynnum’s Hudson Brewery.

The Morrison Government is committed to assisting local businesses to grow, create jobs and support Australia’s economic recovery.

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The show must go on in Mt Gravatt

Annual shows in Bonner cancelled because of COVID-19 are about to get a slice of $34 million Australian Government funding to help ensure they can bounce back next year.

Federal Member for Bonner Ross Vasta MP said the first payments under the Supporting Agricultural Show and Fields Day program would roll out before Christmas.

“I am very pleased to share with the community the Mt Gravatt Agricultural, Horticultural and Industrial Society is one of the successful recipients, with a funding grant of $32,448,” Mr Vasta said.

“We want to see the Mt Gravatt Show bounce back in 2021 and this funding package is about reimbursing cancellation costs and losses.”

Mr Vasta said the Government wanted to ensure show societies and field day organisers were in the best shape possible to continue next year.

“These events bring our families and farmers together, build community spirit and help bridge the divide between country and city,” Mr Vasta said.

“Our show days are uniquely Australian and also provide huge economic benefits to local communities, as well as the opportunities for the businesses and services who exhibit.”

Mt Gravatt Show Society Secretary Loretta Smith said she was so happy and surprised to receive this federal funding to support the Mt Gravatt Show to continue in 2021.

“So many people in the community, particularly older people who take part in the knitting and cake competitions were so disappointed we didn’t have a show this year,” Ms Smith said.

“It was such a relief for us to get this funding so we can get on with planning the 2021 Mt Gravatt Show.

“We have a lot of commitments with insurance and other things that was just draining our funds so this announcement has been a huge relief.”

Mr Vasta said he was very pleased the Mt Gravatt Show was able to access this funding to help them through this tough period.

“Next year is looking so much brighter and I know this support will be fantastic boost for our volunteers, families and school kids,” Mr Vasta said.

The 2021 Mt Gravatt show is planned for July 24-25.

More information on the Supporting Agricultural Shows and Field Days program is available here.

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Morrison Government backs small business to go digital

As part of its $800 million JobMaker Digital Business Plan, the Morrison Government is encouraging and supporting more Australian small businesses to digitise, so they can compete, succeed and create job opportunities as we emerge from the COVID-19 crisis.

This includes an expansion of the Australian Small Business Advisory Service (ASBAS) Digital Solutions program.

Minister for Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash said since its inception in 2018, the ASBAS Digital Solutions program has supported small businesses through low-cost, independent, expert and tailored advice to small businesses.

“The expansion of this service means a further 10,000 Australian businesses will be able to these services, enabling them to take advantage of emerging opportunities in the digital economy now and in the future,” Minister Cash said.

Businesses will be able to receive information and advice on:

  • Websites and selling online.
  • Social media and digital marketing.
  • Using small business software.
  • Online security and data privacy.
  • Business crisis management and business continuity planning.
  • Finance management and boosting cash flow.
  • Staff management and creating a safe work environment.
  • Retaining and staying connected to customers.
  • Resilience and wellbeing.

Federal Member for Bonner Ross Vasta MP said many businesses moved online quickly when the pandemic hit, undergoing a decade of change in months, finding new customers or new ways of doing things.

“Our JobMaker Digital Business Plan provides significant backing to continue that digital push and expand opportunities for businesses to grow and create more jobs,” Mr Vasta said.

The Australian Small Business Advisory Service – Digital Solutions program is available to small businesses with fewer than 20 full-time (or equivalent) employees, as well as sole traders.

The service is available across all metropolitan and regional areas.

Further information on accessing the program is available at business.gov.au or 13 28 46.

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Funding new apprentices and trainees in Bonner

The Morrison Government will invest an additional $1.2 billion to support Australian businesses to employ 100,000 new apprentices and trainees as part of our COVID-19 economic recovery plan.

Starting 5 October 2020, businesses who take on a new Australian apprentice will be eligible for a 50 per cent wage subsidy, regardless of geographic location, occupation, industry or business size.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said apprenticeships and traineeships were an important pathway to get young people into jobs and to ensure there is a skills pipeline to meet the future needs of employers.

“During this pandemic the Federal Government has been focused on supporting and creating jobs as well as identifying the skills we need in the economic rebuild,” the Prime Minister said.

Federal Member for Bonner Ross Vasta MP said whether it be manufacturing, housing and construction, arts or mining sectors – this new wage subsidy gave businesses certainty to hire and provides a career path to young school leavers or others looking for an apprenticeship or traineeship.

“This new wage subsidy will provide school leavers and job seekers in Bonner with a real opportunity to upskill and reskill through an apprenticeship or a traineeship,” Mr Vasta said.

The subsidy will be available to employers of any size or industry, Australia-wide who engage an Australian apprentice or trainee from 5 October 2020 until the 100,000 cap is reached.

Under the new measure, employers will be eligible for the wage subsidy for a new or recommencing apprentice or trainee for the period up to 30 September 2021, up to $7,000 per quarter.

Minister for Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business, Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash said the measure builds on the existing $2.8 billion Supporting Apprentices and Trainees wage subsidy that is helping employers to retain their apprentices and trainees.

“The Australian Government has already invested significantly to ensure that apprentices are retained where possible and supported to re-engage if they lose their job,” Minister Cash said.

Assistant Minister for Vocational Education, Training and Apprenticeships, the Hon Steve Irons MP, said the new measures we are announcing today will build on the already significant investment to support apprentices and trainees.

“Through the existing Supporting Apprentices and Trainees measure, as many as 90,000 businesses employing around 180,000 apprentices throughout Australia will continue to be supported,” Assistant Minister Irons said.

More information on the measure is available at www.employment.gov.au/boosting-apprenticeship-commencement

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Reforms to support small business recovery in Bonner

The Morrison Government will undertake the most significant reforms to Australia’s insolvency framework in 30 years as part of our economic recovery plan to keep businesses in business and Australians in jobs.

The reforms, which draw on key features from Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code in the United States, will help more small businesses restructure and survive the economic impact of COVID-19.

Federal Member for Bonner Ross Vasta MP said the reforms would give more support to the region’s businesses that had been hit hard by the coronavirus.

“The Morrison Government is standing by small and family businesses and doing all we can to help make sure these businesses come out on the other side of this crisis,” Mr Vasta said.

“Along with early access to super, cash-flow boosts and JobKeeper, we are doing everything we can to keep family businesses up and running.”

As the economy continues to recover, it will be critical that distressed businesses have the necessary flexibility to either restructure or to wind down their operations in an orderly manner.

The reforms will assist incorporated businesses with less than $1 million in liabilities covering around 76 per cent of Australian businesses subject to insolvencies today, 98 per cent of which have less than 20 employees.

Together, these measures will reposition our insolvency system to reduce costs for small businesses, reduce the time they spend during the insolvency process, ensure greater economic dynamism, and ultimately help more local businesses get to the other side of the crisis.

Earlier this year the Morrison Government announced temporary regulatory measures to help financially distressed businesses get to the other side of COVID-19. On 7 September 2020 the Government announced a further extension of this relief to 31 December 2020.

The new processes will be available for small businesses from 1 January 2021.

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New scheme helps small businesses get paid on time

The Morrison Government is supporting millions of small businesses by helping to ensure they get paid on time.

Legislation to implement the Payment Times Reporting Scheme was passed by the Senate, which will put every big business on notice.

Under the scheme, large businesses and applicable government enterprises with a total annual income of over $100 million will have to report publicly on how and when they pay their small business suppliers.

This scheme will provide unprecedented transparency and will show Australians how big businesses pay their suppliers.

This transparency will help small businesses make more informed decisions about who they do business with, and the general public can make better decisions about the large businesses they purchase from.

We have already seen large companies change their practices following adverse media coverage. Recently, businesses such as Rio Tinto and Telstra rapidly abandoned payment practices which negatively impacted on small businesses once they were subject to public exposure.

As a result, their payment policies were shortened to ensure suppliers were paid within 20 days.

Minister for Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business, Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash said the measure would support small businesses, especially through COVID-19 challenges.

“Late payments have a significant impact on small business cash flow and inhibit the ability of a firm to invest, grow and employ,” Minister Cash said.

Federal Member for Bonner Ross Vasta MP said shining a light on large business payment performance would lead to fairer and faster payments for Australia’s 3.5 million small and family businesses.

“Bad payers won’t be able to hide, as this Scheme will expose their poor practices,” Mr Vasta said.

“The Morrison Government is committed to striking the right balance to ensure faster and fairer payment terms to local small and family businesses in Bonner.”

The Government developed the legislation following extensive consultations with industry associations and representatives of small and large business since early 2019.

Their feedback has directly informed the design and operation of the scheme.

The Coalition Government has a strong record when it comes to ensuring small and family businesses get paid on time.

Since July 2019, Commonwealth agencies have paid invoices for contracts up to $1 million within 20 calendar days or paid interest on any late payments.

This captures approximately 95 per cent of procurement contracts entered into by the Commonwealth.

The scheme will begin on 1 January 2021.

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JobKeeper extension passes Parliament

Last night Parliament passed the Morrison Government’s extension of JobKeeper which is the largest economic lifeline in Australia’s history.

Federal Member for Bonner Ross Vasta MP said more than 5200 businesses in his electorate were currently using JobKeeper.

“JobKeeper is maintaining links between employers and workers, keeping people in jobs and supporting Australian incomes during this pandemic,” Mr Vasta said.

“I have met with many business owners in Bonner who have told me without JobKeeper, they were done and since then, many of them have fortunately recovered to the point where they won’t need this extension.

“However, for those still suffering large downturns, extending JobKeeper is providing a critical lifeline until we get through this global pandemic.”

Without JobKeeper and our other economic support measures, Treasury estimates Australia’s unemployment rate would be 5 percentage points higher.

These measures have saved around 700,000 jobs.

JobKeeper was introduced in March, with a flat payment of $1,500 per fortnight for eligible employees for six months. This meant money could be distributed quickly using existing mechanisms.

For the next stage of JobKeeper – from September until March 2021 – there will be a two-tiered payment:

  • For the December quarter, payments will be $1,200 per fortnight per employee, or $750 for workers who were employed for less than 20 hours a week.
  • For the March quarter, payments will be $1,000 per fortnight per employee, or $650 for workers who were employed for less than 20 hours a week.

The Australian Government is also supporting jobs with a number of other measures, including:

  • Payments to more than 785,000 businesses to boost cash flow.
  • A 50% wage subsidy, supporting around 180,000 apprentices and trainees.
  • Up to 340,700 JobTrainer places for school leavers and job seekers to upskill.
  • The HomeBuilder program, supporting the residential construction industry.
  • JobSeeker and the Coronavirus Supplement.
  • $750 payments in April and July to millions of Australians, including pensioners.

Further details about these measures are available at treasury.gov.au

“As we work to help the economic recovery, the Government will have Australians’ backs,” Mr Vasta said.

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Supporting Bonner’s small businesses to create jobs

The Morrison Government will help local small businesses as they move into the recovery phase of the coronavirus crisis by extending the Coronavirus SME Guarantee Scheme which supports small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) to get access to the funding they need to adapt and innovate during the coronavirus crisis.

Under the existing Scheme, the Government is providing an unprecedented level of support to SMEs in partnership with 44 approved lenders by guaranteeing 50 per cent of new unsecured loans to SMEs.

The Scheme has already seen more than 15,600 businesses accept loans worth $1.5 billion.

Federal Member for Bonner Ross Vasta MP said the next phase of the Coronavirus SME Guarantee Scheme would help small businesses in his electorate move out of hibernation, successfully adapt to the new COVID-safe economy and invest for the future.

“Extending the SME Guarantee Scheme is our Government’s way of supporting small businesses as they seek to rebuild, adapt and create local jobs on the other side of the coronavirus crisis,” Mr Vasta said.

Key changes to the Scheme include:

  • Extending the purpose of loans able to be provided beyond working capital, such that a wider range of investment can be funded;
  • Permitting secured lending (excluding commercial or residential property);
  • Increasing the maximum loan size to $1 million (from $250,000) per borrower;
  • Increasing the maximum loan term to five years (from three years); and
  • Allowing lenders the discretion to offer a repayment holiday period.

The extended terms of the Scheme will enable lenders to continue supporting Australian small businesses when they need it most.

The expanded Scheme will shift from providing access to working capital to helping businesses stay afloat during the crisis to now also enabling them to access more affordable and longer-term credit so that they can invest for their future.

The initial phase of the Scheme remains available for new loans issued by eligible lenders until 30 September 2020.

The second phase of the Scheme will start on 1 October 2020 and will be available until 30 June 2021.

For more information visit www.business.gov.au

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‘Go Local First’ campaign to support small businesses in Bonner

A national campaign has been launched to support the recovery of Australia’s small businesses by calling on all Australians to ‘Go Local First’.

Funded by the Morrison Government, the campaign led by the Council of Small Business Organisations Australia (COSBOA) will urge Australians to ‘Go Local First’ when purchasing products and services to help the small business sector get back on its feet.

The campaign will highlight the vital role of small businesses in our nation’s economic recovery from COVID-19.

Minister for Small and Family Business, Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash said now more than ever Australian small businesses needed local communities to back them and support their recovery by choosing to shop with them either in-person or online.

“Australians know when they make the choice to go to their local small businesses, they are supporting their community and the national economy as a whole,” Minister Cash said.

“The ‘Go Local First’ campaign will feature numerous small businesses from across Australia including cafes, chemists, retailers, trades, hairdressers, butchers, accountants and bookkeepers.”

Federal Member for Bonner Ross Vasta MP said spending with local small businesses kept money within our communities and helped the local economy thrive.

“This campaign is all about getting behind your local small business whether it is your local baker, plumber, barista or butcher for example,” Mr Vasta said.

“Every small business employs locals in our community and it’s time we all come together and support one another.

“The resourcefulness of Australians working together will see us emerge stronger on the other side.

“I encourage everyone in our local community to actively support this campaign and do whatever you can to back our fantastic small and family businesses and Go Local First.”

Over the coming months, Australians will see the ‘Go Local First’ message on TV, radio, online and in their community.

For more information on the campaign visit www.golocalfirst.com.au

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