Govt unveils 20-point-strategy for state’s small businesses

A raft of new measures designed to uplift small business owners have been revealed by the government.

Jul 10, 2023, updated Jul 10, 2023

Designed following a consultation program with business owners in South Australia, the Small Business Strategy aims to future-proof and grow the state’s sector.

Launched by the Minister for Small and Family Business Andrea Michaels, the strategy includes 20 new programs to address issues raised by business owners who were consulted through 21 round table sessions, 19 in-depth interviews and an online survey.

From this, the Office for Small & Family Business – a new body established in August last year – identified a variety of pain points small business owners experience as well as the suite of initiatives designed to address those.

The government settled on six themes as major issues for small business owners, including: strengthening business capability, building skills and workforce, navigating the digital environment, boosting business sustainability, embracing diversity and improving access to government services.

Michaels said the Small Business Strategy was a “landmark initiative designed to support South Australia’s small business sector as the driving force of our economy”.

“We undertook the most comprehensive and intensive engagement program with small and family businesses this state has ever seen and the Small Business Strategy is a direct reflection of the feedback we received,” Michaels said.

“We are delivering more than 20 measures designed to support small businesses to succeed and each of these was developed to provide the practical and targeted support requested.

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“The South Australian Small Business Strategy will guide our policies and programs to support and empower small businesses. It will help to create jobs, build our economy and build the capability of our 150,000 small businesses for the future.

The Strategy includes 20 new business support initiatives that the government said would be rolled out in the “coming weeks and months” including an annual Small Business Week, a cybersecurity literacy program, a female entrepreneur empowerment initiative, and a sustainability support program.

Other initiatives include a mental health and wellbeing program, a workforce planning and development toolkit, advice on exporting outside of SA, and information and resources in languages other than English.

The Small Business Strategy also sees the government commit to awarding all contracts worth more than $55,000 to South Australian businesses and that South Australian workers must deliver a minimum of 90 per cent labour hours on major infrastructure projects worth more than $50 million.

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