Minister for Small Business Brendan O'Connor today visited a small business which is making the most of Queensland's resources boom.
Hairdresser Sandy Turner owns two salons in West Gladstone and has seen an influx of work from the nearby LNG plants since late last year.
"We had a really hard time during the global financial crisis, like everyone did. Gladstone really got hit," Ms Turner said.
"But since last November, we've really seen the work pick up with the workers from the gas plants. They have to keep their hair short because they have to wear hard hats.
"We would have hundreds in every month and I've had to put on more staff. I used to have 16 staff - now I have 20."
Mr O'Connor said he was impressed with Ms Turner's entrepreneurial spirit, particularly the way she had set up an email bookings system to handle out-of-hours bookings.
"Because a lot of workers only have Sundays off, they can email Sandy during the week to line up appointments for Sunday," Mr O'Connor said.
"I'm told Sandy will often come in on a Sunday and do as many as nine haircuts on her own. She's a great example of the hard work and long hours that so many of our small business owners put in to build their businesses and keep their employees in jobs.
"Small businesses are the engine room of the Australian economy, with more than two million businesses them employing almost five million Australians.
"The Gillard Government is determined to create the environment in which small business doesn't just survive, it thrives.
"We want to make sure that people like Sandy are freed as much as possible from unnecessary red tape.
"Yesterday, the Finance Minister Penny Wong and I announced that small businesses will be automatically be paid interest on late payments by government agencies, instead of having to lodge a separate claim.
"The new Australian Small Business Commissioner will be a direct voice for small business to the Government, and will advise me on how to cut red tape.
"The Small Business Advisory Service and the Small Business Support Line will continue to provide free or low-cost advice and mentoring for small businesses.
"And to make sure all small businesses benefit from the mining boom, we have introduced the instant tax write-off measure for small businesses, allowing them to write off new assets costing up to $6,500. Small businesses can also write off the first $5,000 of the cost of the company vehicle.
"By introducing a carbon price for our biggest polluters, we are able to cut tax and red tape by trebling the tax-free threshold to $18,200, meaning almost one million Australian workers will not have to file a tax return,
"We're also introducing the loss carry-back initiative, which will allow once-profitable businesses to claim a tax deduction on losses.
"Many of the 17,700 small businesses in the Flynn electorate can also benefit from the Small Business Superannuation Clearing House, which allows employers to pay all their employees' superannuation payments in one single online transaction, no matter how many funds are being paid into.
"The service can save small business employers up to eight hours of paper work each quarter and 99 per cent of small business users surveyed say they'd recommend the service to others."
11 July 2012