||Issue No. 252||18 February 2005|
Wood for the Trees
Economics: Super Seduction
Interview: Bono and Me
Unions: The Eight Hour Day and the Holy Spirit
Technology: From Widgets to Digits
Education: Dumb and Dumber
Health: No Place for the Young
History: The Work-In That Changed a Nation
Review: Dare to Win
Poetry: Labor's Dreaming
The Locker Room
But Then Again
Letters to the Editor
What is really holding small business back?
The coalition have taken it upon themselves to capture the hearts and minds of small business people by proposing IR reforms, that are being flaunted as
the way forward.
However, I am not sure whether the coalition are being as straight forward with everyone as they ought to be.
Maybe, just maybe, there is another agenda happening? And maybe, just maybe, these proposed IR reforms are simply a tool for the government to achieve a quick win in order to stamp their authority with their new found powers in the Senate, come July - Who knows?
Mr Beazley may be correct in his assumption that Mr Howard and Costello aresimply trying to divert attention away from their own failings.
One thing is for sure we haven't seen a plan yet, which is scary.
From what I can gather, IR has been a topic of discussion by various experts in trying to find solutions to stimulate small business growth, however, it
is not as high on the list of problems small business' face as you will see below.
Earlier this year BRW (Business Review Weekly, May 6-12) ran a cover story titled 'What's holding small business back'.
This was a roundtable discussion held between entrepreneurs, politicians and lobbysts who were
their to thrash out the topics that need urgent attention.
Joe Hockey, Federal Minister for Small Business was their, as was Graeme Samual, Chairman of the ACCC, along with Bob McMullan, the Opposition spokesman for Small Business, to name a few.
Conclusions From The Table
Following is a list of the hottest issues ˆ and possible solutions that came from these discussions. Please note ˆ IR issues are last on the list.
1. Different regulations between between state and federal governments are a cost and annoyance to small business.
Solution: Certain basic practices should have common requirements so that business can operate on a national level. Examine and tackle the differences
in state and federal relations.
2. Lack of an entrepreneurial policy.
Solution: Develop a co-ordinated approach to entrepreneurship that sets goals and objectives. Set up programs to meet those goals.
3. Soaring insurance premiums.
Solution: Monitor the prices of insurance companies
4. Unfair practices of big business to squeeze small business. Note, Mr Howard doesn't seem to have raised this as a pressing issue.
Solution: Implement the recent Senate committee report. Put more pressure on big business to have a conscience. Educate small business about how to
collectively bargain and complain to the ACCC.
5. The lack of human capital.
Solution: Introduce mentoring programs for entrepreneurs.
6. Too much red tape and paperwork.
Solution: Improve the way legislation is introduced and develop a more efficient system for fixing problems that are not anticipated when regulation is introduced.
7. Industrial relations grows worse.
Solution: Keep in mind that employers have rights too. They create jobs and, where possible, should be assisted to make the hiring process easier. Note,
there is no mention of taking away employee rights via abolishing 'unfair dismissal laws' for small businesses.
So, what is really holding small businesses back?
I for one, would like to know what the Federal Goverment intends to do about the first 6 items - then they can start talking IR reforms.
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