Judge, Jury, or Dispute Resolution Service for Small Business?

May 27, 2011

BEC Managers and clients, you have the opportunity to contribute towards the development of a very important policy decision being considered by the Gillard Government.

Small Business Minister, Senator Nick Sherry, has released an options paper designed to generate comment on ways to help small businesses resolve disputes. We know this is a topic very dear to the hearts of the small business operators we talk to all the time.

The paper is the result of 2010 research by the Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research (DIISR) which found around 20 per cent of surveyed small businesses had experienced a dispute with another business in the previous five years.

Senator Sherry has put four options up for discussion: Read the rest of this entry »


Flood hit businesses rely on Gillard government delivering better than insurance companies

April 11, 2011

Australia’s peak body for small business advice is urging the federal government to set an example to the insurance industry by following through efficiently with its offer of extra funding to support networks like Business Enterprise Centres, which are stretched to breaking point assisting small businesses affected by natural disasters, says BEC Australia chair, Jack Hughes.

“The Gillard government has done the right thing offering $3.3 million to support the support groups doing the frontline work of helping small businesses recover and regroup after recent floods and cyclones,” says Mr Hughes.

“For example, the Ipswich Business Enterprise Centre has been stretched to breaking point as its staff and volunteers have reached out or responded to more than 600 local businesses needing help to access trauma counselling, apply for government support, and navigate the confusing minefields of insurance company claims. Read the rest of this entry »

SA’s Rann Government Distances Itself From Small Business

September 21, 2010

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. Read the rest of this entry »

Australian small businesses hungry for advice post-GFC

March 3, 2010

Australia’s peak body for small business advice has surveyed its managers from 132 Business Enterprise Centres (BEC) nationwide and found that demand for advice and support is on the rise, says Business Enterprise Centres Australia.

The BEC survey found demand for advice and training rose an average of 9 percent in calendar year 2009, and that more small and micro businesses are engaged in planning to deal with GFC-related threats and opportunities than 12 months ago, up 7 percentage points from 29 to 36.

“These findings are encouraging from a national point of view because Australia is dependent upon its small business sector to drive the economy,” says BECA chair, Peter Murray.

Read the rest of this entry »

New benefits for small business on horizon, if Ron gets his way

February 3, 2010
Ron Watts, BEC Australia

Ron Watts, BEC Australia

Negotiating discounts and deals for small businesses are top priority for Ron Watts, who has commenced his role this week as General Manager, Sponsorship and Compliance, with Business Enterprise Centres Australia (BECA).

“BECA has a raft of sponsorship deals on the table and one of my first jobs will be working through the list and negotiating some valuable agreements on behalf of small businesses and the BEC network,” says Ron.

“While the parties at the table represent core products and services needed by small business people, I will be taking a strictly commercial approach to negotiations to ensure that the outcomes are meaningful to sole traders, small businesses and start ups alike.” Read the rest of this entry »

Fresh start for WA’s Small Business Development Corporation

January 15, 2010

The West Australian government faces a character test in the eyes of local small business people as it ponders the future of its Small Business Development Corporation in the wake the departure of managing director, Mr Stephen Moir.

“While we didn’t always agree with Steve’s decisions, it is important that the SBDC has a strong leader who can advocate for small business at the State level,” says BEC Australia chairman Peter Murray. “We thank Mr Moir for his efforts in assisting small business in WA whilst SBDC Managing Director and in his previous roles.”

“We believe Steve’s departure is an invaluable opportunity for the government to demonstrate its on-going support of WA’s Small Business sector by making the SBDC a truly independent body, such as an independent statutory authority with a seven member board. Read the rest of this entry »

Bleak Outlook for Sydney as NSW Government Slashes Small Businesses Support

June 17, 2009

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. Read the rest of this entry »

GFC Demands Higher Standards for Australian Small Business Advisors

June 10, 2009

To coincide with the National Small Business Summit, Australia’s peak body for small business advice, Business Enterprise Centres Australia, says while “national” standards provide an acceptable measure for business advisors, the post-GFC world will demand higher, “international” levels.

“We have an intelligent group of small business advisors who understand the grass roots issues facing small businesses in Australia,” says BEC Australia chair, Peter Murray.

“Our challenge is to make sure we are helping small businesses be the best they can be to compete globally, especially in the wake of the GFC, which is why we are formalising our strategic alliance with the Australasian Institute of Enterprise Facilitators (AIEF). Read the rest of this entry »

Budget 09: Encore for Small Business

May 23, 2009

Federal Opposition Leader Malcolm Turnbull has sent a strong signal that the Coalition understands small business and is prepared to make changes to ease the burden on this vital sector of our nation’s economy, says the Business Enterprise Centres Australia, the county’s peak body on small business advice.

“Opposition proposals to reduce red tape, enable small business to take on and keep more apprentices, and roll out a tax-loss carryback policy, all touch important issues for small business people in Australia,” says BEC Australia chair, Peter Murray.

“Mr Turnbull’s budget reply suggests that both major parties are listening to small business in Australia and both have put forward proposals of considerable merit. Read the rest of this entry »

Budget 09: It’s Small Business Calling

May 14, 2009

As the dust begins to settle amid the hype of Federal Budget week, there is a particular gem that many commentators have overlooked and for which the Rudd Government needs congratulations, according to Australia’s Peak Body for Small Business Advice, BEC Australia.

Among a number of welcome measures for “the backbone of the Australian economy”, $10 million has been set aside for a Small Business Support Line that will link business people to their local support and advice network.

“In today’s fast-changing environment, a well-managed support line could be just the thing small business owners need to guide them through the turbulence,” says BEC Australia Chairperson, Peter Murray. Read the rest of this entry »