Small business is the engine room of our economy and key to our prosperity as a nation.

We are committed to ensuring Australia is the very best place to build and grow a business.

We want to ensure the settings are right for small businesses to thrive, and implementing a specific Minister to the portfolio when we were elected in September 2013 was just the beginning.

This year, a small business and jobs package will be the centrepiece of the 2015 budget, and will include measures such as a small business company tax rate of at least 1.5%.

We have already delivered on many of our election commitments, with many more underway.

We have:

• Implemented a Food and Grocery Code of Conduct to ensure fairness and transparency in the grocery sector
• Cut over $2 billion in red and green tape costs
• Undertaken an independent ‘root and branch’ review of the competition framework
• Reformed the national Franchising Code
• Signed Free Trade Agreements with China, Japan and Korea
• Abolished the carbon tax
• Overseen the historic Right to Repair Heads of Agreement
between participants in the automotive supply and service industry to ensure consumers are provided with the right information to make informed decisions when it comes to the repair and servicing
of their vehicles
• Created a Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman
• Ensured Government pays their small businesses accounts on time
• Activated the Productivity Commission inquiry into workplace relations and World Trade Organisation barriers into business entry and exits.
• Provided an additional $304.1 million over four years from 2014 15 to boost the wage subsidy for mature age job seekers, through a Restart Programme.

A range of new measures have also been introduced to provide practical support and advice to small business owners, such as the $484.2 million Entrepreneurs’ Infrastructure Programme, a Single Business Service website, and a dedicated support line through Fair Work, which has made almost 109,000 contacts.

Small business are now able to rely on advice from the Fair Work Ombudsmen, without fear of prosecution should the information provided by the ombudsmen be incorrect.

In addition to these achievements for 2014, we are:
Extending unfair contract protections for small business
• Deferring by two years the increase in compulsory employer-funded
superannuation

• Removing from small business the requirement to administer the government’s paid parental leave scheme.
• Protecting the rights of independent contractors and the self-employed
• Working with the financial sector to improve access to small business finance by developing a crowd source equity funding model
Improving Employee Share Schemes to provide employers with an attractive form of remuneration and to encourage employees to have ‘skin in the game’.

All of this work is in contrast to the former Labor Government, which had five Small Business Ministers in 15 months, and introduced more than 21,000 additional regulations.

The Coalition Government is working hard for the entrepreneurial men and women of small business, and it’s an honour to serve them.