Steven Cartwright, CEO NSW Chamber of Commerce, presents to MDCC members

On Wednesday May 29th the Miranda and Districts Chamber of Commerce held a breakfast forum for small businesses. Key speaker and NSW Business Chamber President, Stephen Cartwright spoke zealously about the “Small Business — Too Big to Ignore” campaign, which aims to unite the voice of small businesses in Australia.

There are currently two million small businesses in Australia employing seven million Australians. These businesses generate 58% of Australia’s GDP. But they are struggling.

The NSW Business Chamber is looking to cut red tape for businesses and reduce regulations so that running a business is easier. Cartwright maintains that the current Government are disconnected from the small business community and this needs to be remedied. He said “an influential chamber movement can be a catalyst for change, which is good for the community…the government doesn’t create jobs, small businesses do.”

Youth unemployment is of great concern to the “Small Business — Too Big To Ignore” campaign, because many small businesses employ young people. But with weekend penalty rates almost running small businesses into the red it becomes harder to employ more staff. Many businesses struggle to stay open on a weekend simply because they cannot afford staff.

Cartwright wants to help small businesses by reducing the cost of running a business and making it more fulfilling. The Small Business — Too Big to Ignore Campaign Aims to:
• Get tax and finance reforms for small businesses
• Make it easier for small businesses to get bank loans
• Open avenues for business to India and China
• Look at cost cutting measures (energy usage, stationary costs etc)

The Small Business — Too Big to Ignore Campaign needs small businesses to support it. Cartwright encourages people to put signs up in their shop windows, sign the online petition (at www.toobigtoignore.org.au) and talk about it to spread the word. 19,000 small business supporters have currently signed the online petition.

Timed to coincide with the election, the 2BIG2IGNORE billboard will start a six week journey on August 6th. The billboard is designed to encourage discussion and participation in the campaign. Cartwright hopes to engage with many small business owners during the billboard’s route starting at the Big Banana in Queensland and work its way down the coast via many of the other ‘big’ Australian icons.