By ERWIN CHLANDA
Budget measures will be particularly well received in regional Northern Territory where unemployment is at its highest and job opportunities are limited, says Chamber of Commerce EO Kay Eade (pictured).
“We have been lacking in new business in Alice, and I think the initiatives in the budget will encourage the development of new operations in the business community. It will also assist the SMEs to put back into their businesses to assist in economic growth,” she says
“The initiatives for small business are fantastic. Over 80% of small to medium businesses fail within the first five years of operation, partially due to red tape on start up costs.
“The initiatives in this budget will assist these businesses with costs associated with starting up and growing their businesses.
“This will be fantastic for the entrepreneurs thinking of giving it a go in Alice Springs,” says Ms Eade.
“For the next two years, small businesses are able to immediately deduct the cost of individual assets under $20,000, which will allow business owners to spend much needed capital on their businesses, driving innovation and injecting funds into the economy.
“This also has the added bonus of reducing red tape as tracking assets across years was an unnecessary burden on business owners.”
Ms Eade says changes to the Employee Share Scheme that sees tax paid on the sale of shares and not when originally offered are also welcome.
“Other measures, including the streamlining of business registration processes, easier access to crowd sourced equity funding and the deduction of professional expenses incurred at start-up, are aimed at making it easier for people to take the jump into starting their own small business.
“The Chamber also welcomes the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility. With the Federal Government’s White Paper on Developing Northern Australia due for release next month, the facility will help private developers and State / Territory governments get concessional loans for infrastructure like dams, pipelines and railways.
“Education exports are an important part of the Territory economic fabric and will be boosted by changes to student visa policy arrangements.
“The Budget predicts steadily decreasing deficits and a reduction in the size of government measured as a share of GDP. This is good news; however a Budget deficit in excess of $35 billion still requires immediate action.
“The government, opposition and cross benches have a mutual responsibility to fix the budget and Australian business cannot afford to see the gridlock of the past year continue.
“Business confidence can be quickly rebuilt if these measures go through unchanged and with minimal delay,” Ms Eade says.