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SMEs key focus of NSW budget

by Reporter10 minute read
SMEs key focus of NSW budget

The NSW government has announced a suite of measures to support small businesses including reductions to payroll tax and loosening of red tape in the construction sector.

The NSW Budget 2018–19 includes $37 million to go towards the scaling up of the NSW government’s Easy to Do Business program, which aims to reduce red tape and provide small business with “one front door” to the government.

The Commonwealth government has also committed nearly $100 million in funding to enable the accelerated roll-out across New South Wales.

The Easy to Do Business program, which initially piloted across cafes, restaurants and small bars, will now extend to the housing construction sector in a bid to support more builders.


The 2018–19 budget for NSW will also see the payroll tax threshold lifted from the current level of $750,000 to $1 million by 2021–22.

It is estimated that this will make more than 5,000 businesses payroll tax-free.

Other measures in the NSW budget include:

  • $30 million over four years including $13.5 million in 2018–19 for the Skills for Business program helping small businesses to grow by supporting workforce development through training (particularly in areas like digital and financial literacy, cyber security and business management)
  • $30 million for business advice initiative Business Connect, with $7.6 million invested in 2018–19, to provide statewide business advice and skills training to help businesses establish and grow
  • $46 million in 2018–19 to continue to support fast-growing start-ups and SMEs with a suite of Jobs for NSW grants and loan products, and facilities including the Sydney Startup Hub
  • $42 million in 2018–19 to invest in fast-growing companies through the GO NSW Equity Fund in partnership with First State Super and ROC Partners

Deputy Premier and Minister for Small Business John Barilaro said that small business support services will continue through the Department of Industry, including the Office of the NSW Small Business Commissioner, to provide business advice, advocacy, mediation and dispute resolution services.

He added: “The single most important thing we can do for small business is make it easier and faster for them to operate, and that’s exactly what this budget delivers.

“Small businesses make up almost 98 per cent of all NSW businesses and employ almost 50 per cent of our workforce here in NSW — so it’s vitally important that those small operators are supported and given the very best chance of success.

“As a former small business owner myself, I know how hard it can be to run a small business, so now as Small Business Minister I want to deliver programs that make life easier for those people who take that very brave step to start a business and provide job opportunities for others.”

Treasurer Dominic Perrottet commented: “We want to leave as much of the hard-earned cash of our small business owners in their own pockets so they can invest in equipment and add jobs.”

[Related: Major bank penalties to fund financial literacy]

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