INDI candidates were called on yesterday to put their commitment to small business on the record — at an event in the Farrer electorate.
Half a dozen of them addressed the “Small business, too big to ignore” campaign in Albury’s QEII Square.
All cited their strong belief that small business was vital to the lifeblood of regional centres.
The campaign is being run by the Australian Chamber of Commerce in conjunction with state and region chambers and is travelling right across the country.
Murray-Riverina NSW Business Chamber regional manager Ben Foley said it was accepted the campaign would not change the election outcome.
“It’s more about — at a grassroots level — looking at our candidates and asking them what they will do should they be elected,” he said.
“What they say may change voters’ minds.”
Mr Foley said if any commitments were made the chamber could hold them to those commitments.
Murray-Riverina chamber president Paul Goonan said a similar campaign was run in the lead up to the last NSW election.
He said that campaign was so successful that by the end of it, incoming Premier Barry O’Farrell had decided to adopt seven of the chamber’s “10 big ideas for NSW”.
Mr Goonan said the chamber knew it was “onto something” and that if it combined with other chambers for a national campaign it “may have a chance to influence whichever government holds power”.
“We have noticed since the launch of the campaign that the name ‘small business’ is now getting into a lot more of the comments of all parties, especially the major parties,” he said.
Mr Goonan said chamber members on the Border were big on cutting regulations that prevented them from getting on with their business.
“They feel like they’re being strangled in trying to comply with regulations,” he said.
“They just want to be left alone to run their business, which then generates employment.”