The small business sector could be the key to Western Australia’s future growth and innovation.
CCI's latest Vision series paper, The Future of Small Business: A Vision for WA examines the opportunities facing small businesses in this state.
The WA small business sector:
- Accounts for around 97 per cent of all Western Australian businesses
- Employs about 44 per cent of the state’s total workforce
- Employs 100,000 workers in construction, 67,000 in professional, scientific and technical services, 47,000 in retail trade and 50,000 employees in health care and social assistance.
CCI Chief Executive Officer Deidre Willmott said government should continue to target three key reform areas to further improve business confidence: tax, industrial relations and red tape.
- Industrial relations statutes should be amended so future commissions will review awards (in particular concerning Sunday and public holiday penalty rates) against revised objectives that take into account the changing nature of work and community expectations.
- The Commonwealth Government should simplify tax legislation, streamline tax administration and minimise excessive compliance burdens on small business.
- The State Government should continue to investigate and implement leading practice local government coordination with the aim to reduce inconsistencies across local government boundaries.
“Small businesses are the lifeblood of our economy so it is vital we get the policy settings right, to nurture our state’s entrepreneurial spirit, and allow the small business sector to fully embrace the fantastic opportunities available,” Ms Willmott said.
“We should simplify tax legislation and lessen the tax burden on business, reduce inconsistencies across local government boundaries and amend industrial relations statutes so that awards reflect changing community expectations – particularly concerning the penalty rates system.
“Payroll tax in particular should be reviewed and eventually abolished, as this tax on jobs discourages businesses from hiring more staff, penalises businesses for expanding and ultimately hinders the growth potential of small businesses in this state.”