BORDER small businesses have joined a campaign they hope will get the major political parties to recognise the burdens of government red tape and costs.
The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s “Small business, too big to ignore” campaign has been launched to coincide with the federal election.
Victorian chamber Wodonga regional manager Graeme Bruton said the campaign gave small business a voice on issues that compromised their competitiveness.
Wodonga’s Wunderbar Windows and Doors decided to support the campaign out of concern for such difficulties.
Business development manager Brett Martin said payroll tax, for example, was an unnecessary burden and a disincentive in employing new staff, preventing jobs and business growth.
He also pointed to unfair dismissal laws that made it “very difficult to manage under-performing staff and once again acting as a disincentive for employment”.
Mr Martin said the next federal government needed to address these burdens to make it easier for small businesses to employ people.
Mr Martin said skyrocketing energy costs were also a concern.
“We can’t pass any of those costs onto our customers and so that’s a bit of a hindrance in the competitive marketplace we have right now,” he said.
Mr Bruton was confident the campaign would attract consideration from the major parties.
“Small business forms a large part of how people are employed so I think that certainly they’ll take the information and the feedback and the types of issues that we’ve raised very seriously,” he said.
North East Security Services managing director Peter Vaughan said the increasing requirement to maintain compliance with multiple agencies and departments including WorkCover and the Australian Tax Office had a detrimental effect.
“A great plumber is not necessarily a great accountant, bookkeeper or financial guru, however he or she is expected to be all of these or pay extra for this expertise,” the Wangaratta businessman said.
Mr Vaughan said he experienced difficulties with trading across the border including issues related to WorkCover, occupational health and safety and licensing.
“This ongoing yearly duplication of what is basically paperwork and certificates that we hang on the wall can cause massive frustration, additional administration and external accountancy costs,” he said.