Wanneroo Business Association Hosts Shadow Minister for Small Business

Last week, the Wanneroo Business Association (WBA) orchestrated a roundtable discussion with The Hon Sussan Ley MP, Deputy Leader of the Opposition and Shadow Minister for Small Business, and Senator The Hon. Linda Reynolds CSC. The event provided a platform for a diverse array of local businesses and organisations to shed light on current issues impacting small businesses in the region, while also delving into the parliamentary agenda.

Among the attendees were representatives from the WBA Committee of Management, the City of Wanneroo, Business Station, and Glide Wheelchairs. The gathering took place at the Wanneroo Business Incubator, situated within the Allied Health Precinct and managed by Business Station.

During the discussion, the Shadow Minister offered insights into pressing parliamentary matters, outlining several key points:

  • Rising Business Insolvency: The tripling of business insolvency over the past two years has surfaced as a significant concern.

  • Proposed Policy Changes: The forthcoming ‘Closing Loopholes’ policy may pose challenges for businesses in terms of employing casual workers.

  • Escalating Utility Costs: Businesses are grappling with the mounting costs of gas and electricity.

  • Household Savings and Economic Stability: The dwindling level of household savings, exacerbated by recent interest rate hikes, poses threats to business stability as household and small business incomes intertwine.

  • Support for Women-Led Home-Based Businesses: There’s a focused effort to bolster support for home-based businesses initiated by women.

Steven Windsor, President of the Wanneroo Business Association, alongside other board members, contributed insights into recent trends within the small business landscape:

  • Financial Pressures: The burden of cost-of-living pressures has resulted in the closure or downsizing of numerous businesses, prompting owners to seek full-time employment. Encouraging struggling businesses to seek assistance preemptively remains a challenge.

  • Post-COVID Emotional Support: Emotional support and social connections for businesses post-COVID continue to be paramount.

  • Persistent Staff Shortages: Staff shortages persist across various industries.

  • Community Support Post-Wanneroo Fires: The recent Wanneroo Fires prompted a community-wide support effort, with ongoing support initiatives for affected businesses.

  • Challenges Faced by Local Businesses: Local business hurdles include issues related to land acquisition, cybersecurity threats, and the need for policy supporting local businesses when competing with larger competitors.

Business Station highlighted the ASBAS program and emphasised the local business incubator’s role in providing mentoring support. Glide Wheelchairs underscored the importance of assisting local businesses in transitioning to modern manufacturing and SMART technology.

The City of Wanneroo spotlighted efforts to bolster local job growth within the burgeoning northern coastal corridor, where 14,500 Australian Business Numbers (ABNs) are currently registered.

The roundtable served as a pivotal forum for stakeholders to voice concerns, share insights, and pave the way for collaborative solutions to propel the local business ecosystem forward.

As the dialogue continues, the Wanneroo Business Association remains committed to championing the interests of small businesses and fostering an environment conducive to growth, innovation, and prosperity.

Stay tuned for more updates on how WBA initiatives are shaping the future of business in the region.

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