Issues relating to small business are currently the subject of intense interest across many Australian jurisdictions. Among the many issues concerned are those relating to workplace relations, retail tenancy leases, access to finance, the burdens of red tape and unfair market practices.
One indication of government commitment and interest in small business is the establishment in several jurisdictions of small business commissioners. In 2010, Frank Zumbo, the South Australian Deputy Small Business Commissioner, observed:
- South Australia [now] joins Victoria…and Western Australia in having a commissioner available to assist small business.
In keeping with this trend, in March 2012 the Gillard Government announced its intention to establish a small business commissioner at the federal level. A small business commissioner was appointed in NSW in 2011 and, more recently, the NSW Minister for Small Business, Katrina Hodgkinson, released a consultation paper entitled A Legislative Framework for the NSW Small Business Commissioner.
With these developments in mind, this e-brief presents a statistical snapshot of small business in NSW, a brief overview of issues facing small business and a comparison of small business commissioners.