State of Origin – the battle for small business

Queensland and NSW’s finest may be about to engage in 80 minutes of bone-rattling fury in the first State of Origin clash, but for small business owners the quest for glory is a 24/7 game.

This week the Blues and Maroons will aim to settle the score on the paddock, but the battle for the hearts and minds of Australia’s small businesses will rage on far beyond the final siren.

Both Queensland and NSW know that much like a great pack of forwards, small businesses set the platform for glory.

So which state is better for small business? MYOB asked each state’s small business minister to pitch their state as the small business state – here’s what they had to say.

Queensland Minister for Small Business, Leeanne Enoch

In the spirit of Billy Moore during the 1995 State of Origin series, the Palaszczuk Government is inspiring small businesses to success in the state-versus-state stoush with New South Wales.

And mirroring Fatty’s Nevilles in the series Queensland was never meant to win, this government is determined to overcome its overrated rivals and consign the Blues to the business blues.

Queensland Minister for Small Business, Leanne Enoch
Queensland Minister for Small Business, Leanne Enoch

In the small business ‘cauldron’ we’re racking up the points, with industry confidence riding the highest it’s been since 2014, and independent surveys confirming we’ve got form on the board when it comes to inspiring small businesses to start, grow and employ.

Queensland’s 414,000 small businesses are celebrated by this government with the same fervour as the mighty Maroons before a passionate Suncorp Stadium crowd.

And when it comes to small business, like the Maroons, we always seem to be outperforming our southern neighbours.

The Palaszczuk Government runs the full 80 minutes for small business. We see the sector as multi-positional, because we know every business is unique. And we stand shoulder to shoulder with all our operators when we say we’re working to win.

The Advancing Small Business Queensland Strategy 2016-20 is already kicking goals. Our various available grants let operators take advantage of the tools they need to succeed, while the free Mentoring for Growth program connects small businesses with industry experts – individuals you could consider as the legends of the game.

Our government is investing more than $22 million over the next three years as part of the Advancing Queensland agenda to make sure our state keeps its hands on the trophy when it comes to being the place for small businesses to succeed.

So for any businesses looking for their field of dreams, a rallying cry: ‘Queenslander!’.

NSW Minister for Small Business, John Barilaro

Queensland might be experiencing some rare form with recent State of Origin wins, but if you want to be a business winner, NSW is the place to be.

We have the strongest economy and best business conditions in the country while delivering the lowest unemployment rate and a government surplus as far as the eye can see.

Head to head, we’re not even expecting Queensland to turn up for this clash.

NSW Minister for Small Business, John Barilaro
NSW Minister for Small Business, John Barilaro

The most recent NAB Business Survey showed that NSW business conditions were above the national average for 29 months in a row.

This follows the April CommSec State of the States report which showed that NSW had retained its place as the nation’s leading economy for the eleventh straight quarter.

According to the March 2017 Sensis Business Index, business confidence is higher in NSW than in Queensland.

NSW has more than 710,000 small businesses, compared to only 415,000 in Queensland.

Some governments talk about reducing red tape, but in NSW we shred it to bits! We recently launched the Easy to do Business initiative – the first of its kind in Australia.

Business owners in the cafe, small bar and restaurant sector are now able to open a business in less than 90 days, down from 18 months, and save 57 hours of “red tape” time.

NSW has signed up to the Federal Government’s $300 million red tape reduction scheme, unlike Queensland! This was a shortball on the chest for small businesses in Queensland who dropped this opportunity cold.

We’re tackling issues of capital and cash flow for small business by addressing late and extended payment terms and by improving access to finance options to give businesses the opportunity to grow and employ more people.

According to the 2017 Start-up Muster, NSW is Australia’s start-up capital, with 41 per cent of the nation’s start-up businesses in Sydney. This is at least twice as much as any other State.

To help train the next generation of entrepreneurs, we opened the Sydney School of Entrepreneurship last year. The $25 million investment brings together high-performing university and TAFE students to learn what they need to start their business.

We’re also investing $20 billion in new infrastructure projects in transport, roads, water security, education, health, culture and sport and other areas. These projects create opportunities for small business in the supply chain.

The only thing left to do is bring the State of Origin trophy back to its rightful home in NSW.