Bleak Outlook for Sydney as NSW Government Slashes Small Businesses Support

At a time when NSW needs small business the most, the Department of State and Regional Development is proposing to bite $1.5 million dollars from the hand that feeds the economy, by reducing the grass roots small business advisory service across Sydney and instead funding a one-size-fits-all website, says Business Enterprise Centres Australia.

“We understand the state government is feeling the heat of the GFC, but what we can’t understand is why Premier Nathan Rees is allowing bureaucrats to rip away support for the very sector that is helping to insulate the state from the economic downturn,” says BEC Australia chair, Peter Murray.

“DSRD have allocated $1.5 million dollars for the development of business templates for their small business website that are already available on the web free of charge.

“If you Google business plans or marketing plans there is a plethora of free templates already available, and here is the Government replicating these templates, rather than keeping the funding where it is needed at the face-to-face advisory level where people bring in templates they have downloaded and want someone to explain how that relates to their proposed business.

“These are serious times with livelihoods and communities at stake and it signals profound disregard for metropolitan small businesses to suggest that a website can replace sound, tailored, professional advice offered by advisors through local Business Enterprise Centres.

“A website provides information, it doesn’t help business people interpret how information applies to their businesses, or give specific steps to follow – BEC advisors and facilitators do that!

“Ironically, I see the website creating more questions for facilitators to answer.

“It appears Premier Rees and the DSRD disagree completely with Prime Minister Kevin Rudd who was in Campbelltown for an employment and training round table three weeks ago where he made it very clear that small business will drive recovery from this recession.

“The Premier must urgently reverse this proposal and show due respect to the men and women who run small business in metropolitan Sydney,” he says.

ENDS

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

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