Backing local businesses

Daily Telegraph, p.31

Four times as many small businesses are confident about their future compared with those which are worried.

Surging to a net balance of +46, data recently released by Sensis shows the remarkable effort Australians have helped instil in our 2.1 million small businesses.

It backs up what I have heard first-hand. And it proves Aussies back small business.

Over the shop counters, on the farms and in the workshops across Australia, it is clear Australians value the vital role local small businesses play. It's something each of us see every day. It's local job creation. It's providing essential services. It's growing our economy.

More and more we see small business in the box seat to deliver those jobs and services into the future.

On a nationwide tour with the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry over the past few months, CEO James Pearson, President Terry Wetherall and I met with businesses and Chambers of Commerce in our largest cities, some of our smallest towns and in communities everywhere in between.

We saw that confidence for ourselves. We saw the risk-takers. We saw the innovators. We saw those who know that tomorrow will be better than today all because Aussies back small business.

So now it's our job to keep confidence sky-high, where it belongs.

The Federal Government is committed to backing business and ensuring Australians have the best chance to pursue their dreams - be it an upgrade to an existing business, putting on another vital pair of hands, the expansion of someone's operation, or finally taking the leap and opening the small business someone has always talked about.

Every business - no matter its size or location, no matter its heritage or history - is the realisation of someone's dream. That's why we are cutting taxes and reducing red tape.

That's why we are enabling small businesses to write-off $20,000 from their tax for upgrades and new equipment. And that's why we want to expand the number of Australian businesses to which these changes apply.

But we need - and small business needs - Aussies' help. And the answer is as easy as shopping local.

Every dollar we spend in a small business is an injection of confidence in that business and that community.

Every dollar creates a local multiplier effect which helps create new and ongoing jobs, encourages growth and development in small businesses and keeps essential goods and services available locally.

Every dollar spent locally sees small business surge.

sBesides, which you see, it gives small businesses the confidence to be.

Michael McCormack is the Federal Small Business Minister and The Nationals' MP for Riverina.

Cristy Houghton