“Mayday” for Small Business in WA

Western Australia’s Small Business Development Corporation has sent small business support in WA into a tail spin by slashing funding from the successful Belmont Business Enterprise Centre and doling out the funds in “pocket money“ portions to other centres across the state.

“I am not sure what is more staggering – the undermining of a successful small business support centre, or this wholesale redistribution of funds ‘out of the blue’,” says BEC Australia chairman Peter Murray.

“It beggars belief watching a practical grant of $93,000 being taken from a lean, efficient Business Enterprise Centre, and being redistributed in token handouts of less than $4,900 to 19 centres, 12 of which the Corporation’s managing director admits will likely struggle for survival anyway!

“WA taxpayers should be outraged by this misguided decision that will not only impact the Belmont BEC, but will impact thousands of families linked to the state’s small businesses which have been receiving  guidance, support and training through the centre to help them grow and continue contributing to the state’s economy,” he says.

A further consequence of this shock move is that it risks Western Australia losing a $250,000 Federal government grant to support small business through the Belmont BEC because the injection of funds was clearly dependent on the centre being able to deliver the services that it is being funded for.

“This sends an alarming message to Federal Small Business Minister, Craig Emerson, that WA is so willing to dismantle one of its most successful engine rooms for small business advice,” says Mr Murray.

“The premier, Colin Barnett, must step in immediately to steer the SBDC away from its dangerous course, otherwise May Day will have a very sombre meaning for small business owners in the West.”

ENDS

CONTACT: Peter Murray, national chairman, BEC Australia on 0402 722 788 or chair@beca.org.au

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