Creating the Right Conditions for Small Businesses, including Travel Agents
2 Dec | '2020
Ms BELL (Moncrieff) (14:34): My question is to the Minister representing the Minister for Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business. Will the minister outline to the House how the Morrison government is creating the right conditions for small businesses, including travel agents, to create jobs and drive our economic comeback from the COVID-19 recession?
Mrs ANDREWS (McPherson—Minister for Industry, Science and Technology) (14:34): I thank my fabulous fellow Gold Coaster for her question. As Gold Coast MPs, we know just how important small businesses are to the economy, because we’ve got about 80,000 small businesses on the Gold Coast and we know that they are the heart and soul of our community. That is the situation right across Australia; small businesses really are the engine room of our economy. That’s why this government rolled up its sleeves when COVID-19 struck to make sure that we could cushion the blow as much as possible and support our small businesses and the roughly six million Australians that are employed by small businesses. We know that JobKeeper has been, and continues to be, a lifeline for so many of our small businesses. But, promisingly, more and more of those small businesses are getting back on their feet. Our $74 billion JobMaker plan puts small business at the heart of our economic recovery, and we have put in place a number of measures that are specifically targeted to support our small businesses.We have put in place some incentives for small businesses to employ and to invest. We have implemented programs that will support small businesses to innovate and to grow, and we have introduced reforms to make it easier for small businesses to do business. We are backing our small businesses right across Australia to invest in themselves and to employ more Australians. One of the most important things that we have been able to do is to expand the instant asset write-off, because that has been such a bonus and such an incentive to so many small businesses as they are struggling to get back on their feet. But the recovery has not been so smooth for all of our small businesses across Australia, and that’s why we did step in to support travel agents. Eligible agents will have access to a one-off payment of between $1,500 and $100,000 to help them continue to navigate the challenges of COVID-19. It is really important that we support our travel agents, but we also support every small business right across Australia. So I encourage all Australians, when you’re doing shopping for Christmas, to go to your local small business and support them, because every single cent that you spend supporting a small business keeps jobs in Australia.