Supporting small business
What are my policies and plans in relation to supporting business, especially small business in the Geelong region?
I plan to support small business by bringing new initiatives into Geelong that that will help to improve the local economy.
When I was Mayor I bought major events into Geelong such as the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road bike race, these events have the ability to stimulate our local economy. The race alone bought in $13.3 million this helps our small businesses located in the CBD and wider which in fosters business development and growth in our city.
The Christmas tree, which I introduced as Mayor, is the prime example of the benefits the Geelong community can reap with major events. The tree brings people in from all over Victoria bringing outside money into our local economy. The benefits are quantifiable with Geelong receiving over $200,000 in media coverage a day and have raised over $100 million in revenue for our city.
I want to encourage small business and growth in Geelong which is why I will fight to abolish payroll tax and other barriers to growth. If I do not succeed in abolishing it I will push to lift the threshold and stop the compounding of payroll tax between separate business entities that are subsidiaries of the same parent company.
We need to remove barriers to small business growth and with my plan to increase tourism in Geelong and bring major events into our city we will have more viable businesses. By stimulating the economy there will be an increased demand on professional B2B services and get the economy in general firing which benefits all business including those providing professional services.
I want Geelong to be a true innovation hub. We already have innovation in the automotive and medical industries and at CSIRO now we need to offer the people of Geelong the same innovation in transport and other growth industries for our region. With high speed rail links to Melbourne and Avalon as well as a new port at the proposed Yarra Street pier. These modern transport services will help bring people into Geelong and also benefit anyone who has to travel to Melbourne or interstate for business.
2. If you are successful in being elected what will you do to support and foster a healthy and vibrant business sector in the Geelong region?
As mentioned previously I plan on focusing on the growth and development of Geelong small business. I will need help and advice from business owners to make sure that we are taking our city in the right direction and don’t end up with another disaster such as Malop Street or the proposed ones in High Street Belmont.
We need to build relationships not more committees, what I will do is have an allocated spokesperson who will liaise between business groups and my office this will be a trusted member of the community and can be the voice for business in Geelong. Geelong does not need another business group as this will not solve the problem. We need to foster relationships that will help refine the strategic and tactical planning for Geelong’s future. I’ll be looking for an organisation like the Geelong Chamber of Commerce to take a lead with me and develop this kind of relationship so that we can get stuff done.
Small business is the backbone of our community and Geelong cannot succeed if business doesn’t succeed.
3. How will you connect with and gain an appreciation of the issues and challenges of businesses in the Geelong region?
I am a recognised Geelong small business owner I have had and currently have several small businesses in Geelong so these issues are my issues. This is why I am running for the seat of Geelong and through fostering the right relationships hopefully we can create together a better, thriving small business focused Geelong.