Small business in regional areas are rebounding despite a tough year according to evidence to Senate Estimates this week.
Nationals Senator for New South Wales Perin Davey said it was great to hear there is anecdotal evidence that small business owners are fighting back, following a horrific year of bushfires, drought and a global pandemic.
Senator Davey questioned the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources about the impact the past year has had on small businesses in the region and how they are helping small business owners get back on their feet.
“It is fantastic to see the Department have mangers based in the regions, working on the ground to advise small businesses in the bush and also feed information back into the department for policy development,” Senator Davey said.
“This news was backed up by evidence today, that 110,000 new companies registered in the first half of 2020 despite the challenges while on the flip side companies entering administration in the first half of 2020, was lower compared to 2019.”
“We heard from Deputy Secretary, Elizabeth Kelly about a great example of a skin care business in the Bega Valley, called Saarinen Organics, which lost their herbal stock due to this summer’s bushfires,”
“On top of that, when Covid-19 hit they were also impacted due to the lack of tourists in the area and then found their land was also contaminated due to the bushfires”
“However that did not deter them, they have responded and adapted with help and advice from the Department, which proves just how resilient our regional businesses are.”
“It has also been great to see the cross-portfolio work with the Departments of Industry and Agriculture working together to ensure Federal support to Rural Financial Counselling Services”
“It is this critical work that ensures our regional small businesses get the holistic advice they need to survive.”
Senator Davey said despite the good news, the Nationals in Government would not be complacent and would continue to work with small business in the regions to give them the support they need.
“Small businesses are doing all they can to stay afloat and we can help by making sure we shop local, buy local and support local businesses so they can support their communities and together we can start our economic recovery.”