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Securing the future of Tasmania’s small businesses

26 August 2021

Jane Howlett MP

Minister for Small Business

Small businesses are the engine room of our economy and with 97 per cent of all Tasmanian businesses classified as small, it is important that we deliver on our plan to support them.

The Tasmanian Liberal Government is backing our small business sector by supporting resilience, confidence and growth.

That’s why the 2021-22 Tasmanian Budget will provide $1.2 million for small businesses to access specialist financial counselling through the COVID-19 Small Business Financial Counselling Support Program.

We know that many small businesses are still experiencing financial difficulties and may have entered a period of cash flow or working capital stress. This program will give them an opportunity to access specialist advice to assist them with their circumstance.

We are also committing $2 million for a new Small Business Incubator and Accelerator pilot program which will support Tasmanians to create sustainable start-ups through private sector partnerships, specialist advice and support.

On top of this, we are providing $800,000 over four years to Business Tasmania to assist it to better support small businesses more quickly. We want Business Tasmania to be a first point of contact when small businesses need help, when they are first established, or when they want to expand.

As part of this initiative, Business Tasmania will work closely with the Red Tape Reduction Coordinator and Small Business Advocate, as well as the Tasmanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Tasmanian Small Business Council, to design and deliver support for small businesses to help them access and understand essential regulatory information.

We will also provide $300,000 over three years for Regional Chambers of Commerce to support their small business members and promote business collaboration and development in their regions, contributing to strong and diverse local economies.

Acknowledging the Tasmanian Small Business Council as one of the peak bodies for Small Businesses in Tasmania, we are providing $150,000 over three years to support its members in its advocacy function. In addition we’ll allocate $30,000 per year over four years to the TCCI for an expanded Tasmanian Survey of Business Expectations. This will provide us with more data to inform decision making as we continue our economic recovery.

Finally, we are continuing to support Tasmania’s microbusiness sector by providing ongoing support to NILS Tasmania. This includes up to $50,000 per annum over four years for the NILS no interest Micro Business Loan Program, and an additional $25,000 per annum for four years to support additional staffing for this valuable service.

We also understand that certain businesses are struggling right now due to the necessary restrictions we have had to put in place at our borders and that’s why our 4 Point Delta Shield Plan includes a $20 million Business Support Package which will give much-needed relief.

The package, jointly funded by the Tasmanian and Australian Governments, will be targeted at businesses operating in tourism, hospitality, arts and events, seafood and transport (hire car, coach tours) sectors, as well as those that have been impacted directly by reduced interstate visitation as a result of our necessary border restrictions. Financial support of between $2,000 and $10,000 are available to eligible businesses, with applications now open.

We will continue to monitor the situation around the nation and review the impacts on our businesses moving forward to determine any additional measures that may be required as we continue to respond to the ongoing COVID-19 situation around the country.