SBDC e-news – September 2016

From the Comissioner

The SBDC is a dedicated champion for small business. As an agency, our motivations are always prompted by how we can make it easier for small business to do business.

Over the past month, I am pleased to have been involved with several new developments that will lead to improved outcomes for those in small business.

The recent announcement to introduce Project Bank Accounts (PBAs) for some State Government construction projects is a major step forward for construction sub-contractors. Small businesses engaged in work on large construction projects are often at risk of lengthy payment periods, non-payment of work or unfair contracting terms.

As announced by the Hon Sean L’Estrange, MLA Minister for Small Business on 12 August, PBAs will be mandated from 30 September 2016 on all State government construction projects valued between $1.5 million and $100 million.

The PBAs will ensure that small business sub-contractors are paid fairly, and on time. They will also provide a safeguard to small businesses from ‘phoenix’ contractors who strip assets from the business before entering administration, often leaving the small business sub-contractor ‘high and dry’. This type of business practice is unjust and has put the financial viability of many small businesses in jeopardy.
The Government also announced that a new code of conduct will be developed for all contractors working on government projects.

Today Minister L’Estrange made an announcement regarding the 90 Day Retail Mapping Project that is to be conducted by the SBDC.

We are keenly aware of the regulatory issues that small retailers face when setting up a business. This project will put the regulatory environment under the microscope to help identify ‘pain points’ and opportunities to improve the existing framework.

We will be seeking input from small retailers to help shape the future of the sector and I encourage all eligible businesses to get involved. More information about the project is covered in this newsletter.
Last month I attended the launch of the City of Canning’s Development Procurement Program. This new program aims to help small businesses build capacity by encouraging them to apply for tenders within the City of Canning, and not be overwhelmed by the tender and procurement process.

Local government programs like this, together with the recently launched Small Business Friendly Local Governments initiative, PBAs and our new 90 Day Retail Mapping Project are all positive steps in continuing to demonstrate that the SBDC is following its vision to help build a stronger small business sector in WA.

I hope you enjoy the September e-news and that you’ll take this opportunity to forward the information to your members and associates. If you’d like further details on any of the issues covered this month, please contact us on 13 12 49.

David Eaton
Small Business Commissioner