Australian Small Business Champion Awards

Good evening everyone and thank you Natarsha.

I want to thank Steve Loe for the invitation to be here.

I also want to acknowledge my National Party colleague the NSW Small Business Minister John Barilaro. And, Peter Strong, Chief Executive Officer of the Council of Small Business (COSBOA).

It is an honour to be here tonight as Australia's Small Business Minister and to be surrounded by so many successful small businesspeople.

Australia is a small business nation – built on the back of a willingness to embrace risk and have a go!

Having run my own small business for a number of years before joining Parliament, I understand the pressure small businesspeople face to see the spark of their idea become a reality.

I know the sacrifices of resources and time, and the burdens put on family and friends which go in to keeping the doors open.

And, I also know that it is small business that powers our economy and creates local jobs.

That's why the central tenet of the Government's economic plan is so clear: jobs and growth. And, why small business is at the forefront of Government.

I'm proud to be a member of a Government which wants to continue our country's economic success by backing small business.
Australians deserve a Government which wants to create more jobs and ensure opportunity is something everyone can take hold of in Australia today.

But how do we achieve this, you might ask? Through investment.

Investment equals growth. Investment equals productivity. Investment equals jobs.

That's why the Government has invested in small business by pushing to secure tax cuts for small business, which passed the Senate yesterday. This is money you can reinvest to grow your businesses and your local economies.

The passage of legislation yesterday, also lets more small businesses – with a turnover of up to $10 million – utilise the Instant Asset Write Off Programme to buy that new piece of equipment, that new asset, to enhance your business. That's available right now, for asset purchases up to $20,000.

But not only are we working to put more money back into your businesses, I also know that often the best thing the Government can do to help small businesses is to just get out of their way.

That's why we want to get rid of any unnecessary paperwork through programmes such as our simplified BAS. I know that time saved doing from doing paperwork is better spent running your business or spending time with your family.

We've cut $5.8 billion worth of annual productivity killing red tape since coming to Government.

We're also levelling the playing field by fixing competition laws and rolling out GST to online purchases of goods valued under $1000 from overseas. We are also cracking down on multinational tax avoidance and profit shifting, so big international businesses pay their fair share.

The Australian Government is backing small business!

Congratulations to all of tonight's nominees, finalists and winners.

I'm honoured to be here with you. I would be thrilled to come and visit your businesses and hear about your businesses – so please get in touch with my office and we'll find a time!

It is now my pleasure to award the Australian Small Business Champion Awards for Specialised Retail, Fresh Food, Physiotherapy, Dental Services, Cafes and Agricultural Services.

Thank you and congratulations again!

Cristy Houghton