SA’s Rann Government Distances Itself From Small Business

Australia’s peak body for small business advice is puzzled by the South Australian Labor Government’s decision to stop funding frontline support for the state’s many small business owners, says Business Enterprise Centres Australia (BECA).

In its state budget handed down last week, the Rann Government cut almost $100 million from the Department of Trade and Economic Development, closing Business Enterprise Centres, and scrapping Small Business Month, the Small Business Helpline, and the SA Young Entrepreneur Scheme.

“This sends very confusing messages to the marketplace because only last month the Minister for Industry, Trade and Small Business, Tom Koutsantonis, was quoted bemoaning the fact that South Australia can get stuck in its ways and risk not creating a new generation of iconic businesses, ‘the new Coopers … Balfours … Haighs’,” notes BECA chair, David Baumgarten.

“And yet these iconic businesses all began as small, entrepreneurial, family concerns, the very businesses the budget cuts will target by choking off their supply of timely business advice and training support.

“From the national perspective of our 135-strong network of business enterprise centres, we are urging the Premier, Mike Rann, to step in and rescue his state from taking a retrograde step and damaging the critical support infrastructure that keeps 96 percent of his state’s businesses running.

“We understand the temptation and lure of big ticket, headline-friendly ventures such as large industry parks, but what the economy actually needs is serious attention to the daily decision-making and ‘grind’ required to keep tens of thousands of families and voters in viable work.

“We are certain that the government has enough gumption to make right decisions and to correct oversights and therefore call upon the Rann Government to restore funding to business enterprise centres so as not to throw the baby out with the bathwater,” he says.


CONTACT: David Baumgarten, national chairman, BEC Australia on 0419 206 110 or


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3 Responses to “SA’s Rann Government Distances Itself From Small Business”

  1. Laura Braithwaite Says:

    A ridiculous move, given that SME’s account for 96% of all businesses in Australia. Abolishing BEC’s will hinder the success and growth of these small businesses, therefore hindering the economic growth of the state and Australia as a whole. It’s just logical to support small business, isn’t it?

    Obviously not.

  2. South Australian Government cuts funding to Business Enterprise Centre Network. | Businesstraveltochina's Blog Says:

    […] More here… […]

  3. Karen Zaskolny Says:

    As a small business who has been involved with the BECs for over a decade,
    I am appalled at the news.

    I have not only been the recipient of much-needed help, advice, mentoring and more from the BECs, I am now a consultant to more than one of them. NWBDC and NABEC.

    I have also worked with EBEC, ISBEC, IWBEC, and more than one of the Regional
    Development Boards.

    Through this work, I have coached hundreds of small business owners one-on-one so I know personally how much the BEC network means to them also.

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