New South Wales opens dialogue with employers 'to chart future course'

State will determine a three-year plan for 800,000 'strong small businesses'

New South Wales opens dialogue with employers 'to chart future course'

This week, the NSW government launched a public consultation for small businesses that aims to assist in developing a strategy that promotes “a thriving, dynamic and innovative” community.

In a media release, the state said its new “Small Business Strategy” would chart the course for the 800,000 strong small businesses across the state for the next three years.

“Small businesses are the lifeblood of the NSW economy. That’s why we’re developing a new [plan] that accounts for the current climate and provides a blueprint for the future,” NSW Small Business Minister Eleni Petinos said.

“The public consultation will afford stakeholders the opportunity to have their say on the new strategy because we know that some of the best ideas will come from small businesses themselves,” she said.

Petinos hailed the efforts and support businesses had received to “withstand the impacts of COVID-19” and said that the state is ready “to look forward and develop policy settings for the future.”

Meanwhile, different experts and industry leaders committed to the state’s vision. CEO of the Master Grocers Australia (MGA) and Director of the Council of Small Business Organisations of Australia (COSBOA), Jos de Bruin said he would be encouraging his members to contribute to the public consultation.

“Our small business members have always enjoyed a close working relationship with the NSW Government, and I encourage all of them to have their say on the public consultation for the next Small Business Strategy,” de Bruin said.

He commented on the opportunity for policymakers to receive direct feedback for priorities and reforms that would “create the best economic landscape” that would support small businesses.

Another CEO, Mark McKenzie of the Australasian Convenience and Petroleum Marketers Association (ACAPMA), wanted to see policy settings for retailers “that keep pace with evolving challenges.”

“Many of the challenges faced by small retailers in the last few years are not necessarily going to be the same ones they confront moving forward. As the economic challenges evolve, so should the policy prescriptions and that’s why I’ll be promoting this public consultation within our membership,” McKenzie said.

A food business leader further echoed the sentiments of others, saying that after an “exceptionally challenging period,” they are ready to move forward and cooperate with the government.

“Our members were some of the hardest hit during the pandemic. The next few years will be crucial to thousands of small businesses in the restaurant and catering sector and close cooperation with government will be essential,” CEO of Restaurant & Catering Australia (R&CA) Wes Lambert said.

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