In a few months we will be having an election in Queensland. In fact we will be having both a state and local government election and Small Business owners should be warned. I am certainly not advocating or supporting any particular political party but I am saying very clearly that if Small Business owners don’t take these elections seriously we will get what we deserve.
In the last Federal Budget, the Government showed a complete lack of understanding of the needs of Small Business. The best they could come up with was a $5000 tax break if the business owner went further into debt by buying a vehicle valued at $35,000 or more. That was about it. I looked long and hard for any cutting edge, innovative, realistic initiatives, but there were none. Small Business owners take heed – we are the risk of this happening again if we don’t start asking some tough questions.
I strongly suggest that as the political parties start making promises about all of the things they will do when elected to power, Small Business owners need to be asking some hard questions. We need to know what every party policy will be for Small Business – and this needs to be spelt out in black and white, not political mumbo jumbo or vague statements about economic development. We want some very specific commitments long before we are ticking a ballot paper.
Small Business has the potential to have a big voice, but most of us are too busy doing what we do or too cynical to get caught up in the political world. But it has to be said, if we don’t speak up and ask the question “what EXACTLY will you do for Small Business if you are elected?” and vote accordingly, we get what we deserve.
So I send out a request to every Small Business owner in Queensland – whenever you get the chance, ask the candidates the tough questions. Push them for answers, don’t accept rhetoric around “broad economic development initiatives”. Don’t let local council candidates out answering tough questions around Small Business either. If they don’t have some strategies to help Small Business grow and develop, they are out of touch. In places like Cairns, close to 90% of all businesses are Small Business. If a Council doesn’t have committed resources, personnel, specific activities, resources and an overall strategy to help these businesses, they don’t take them seriously.
Make an informed decision regarding whom you vote for and the long term future of your Small Business based on their level of commitment. Please encourage other Small Business owners to do the same.