Michael McCormack MP, the federal Minister for Small Business, has said he is “in awe” of what brokers do and commended them for “financing many small businesses”.
Speaking at a breakfast meeting hosted by the Mortgage & Finance Association of Australia (MFAA) in Sydney earlier this week, the Small Business Minister said that both he and the government valued what brokers do.
He said: “I am in awe of what you do. I know how hard it is. I don’t just say that lightly [and] I don’t just say that because I’m the Minister for Small Business, I truly am in awe of what you do…
“You’ve taken the leap of faith to be your own boss, to be someone who is the master of their own destiny and that takes a lot of effort and work.
“I know, and my government knows and appreciates, what you do. Not just for the small business sector but what you do for your customers, your consumers — those people who need finance, those people who need good advice — and that's the sort of thing you people are doing each and every day.”
As the representative for the regional town of Riverina, NSW, Mr McCormack said he had seen the value the brokers provide in enabling businesses in regional areas to access finance when bank branches are scarce, especially for things like asset and equipment finance.
Stating that “small business is big business in Australia”, the minister highlighted that small business now cuts across 99 per cent of all business activity in Australia.
He said: “What you people do for your customers here in Sydney is so, so vitally important. You're assisting with not just home loan mortgages but financing many small businesses. This [comes] as many bank branches reduce their retail footprints... making brokers the only source in some areas of financial services for what in would say is a growing customer base. That's one of the reasons why your industry is so strong and we as a government want to make it stronger.”
‘Jobs are created by small business’
The Minister for Small Business added that the fact brokers now write more than half of all home loans was “exactly what [the] government wants to see”, and said he hoped to reduce the “burden of bureaucracy” on small business owners, such as brokers, in order to help them “have a go”.
He explained: “It’s incumbent on government to make policy setting as easy for you to be able to actually have that go, to back yourself to do what you have done so well, for many years. Every new business, every person who uses a loan to pursue their dreams is helping to create jobs, everyone is helping to make our economy grow and make the most of the opportunities available in Australia.
“Jobs aren’t created with red tape or instruction and I dare say they aren’t even created by government, they are created by you people, created by small businesses. Jobs and growth are a by-product of the hard working, entrepreneurial people who are driven by a desire to be their own boss. Enterprising people, especially those in small business. In other words, jobs are created by people just like you.
The minister added: “You’re starting very early in the morning and finishing very late at night and sometimes when you get home you've got more paperwork, courtesy of our government, and that's what we're trying to cut through as much as we can; that regulation over-reach.
“That's why we're trying to cut through some of the bureaucracy. And if there are examples in your sector, in your industry, of federal government bureaucracy paperwork that you feel is a little bit onerous or a little bit replicated in some other areas of state, please let me know.
“It's not hard, just google my name and flick me an email or flick it to your industry body. Because we want to lift the burden of bureaucracy, as much as we can as a government, from you.”
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