THE Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman has made a significant contribution to Australia’s 3.2 million small businesses and family enterprises, a review released by Small Business Minister Michael McCormack today has found.
“The Liberals and Nationals created the Ombudsman’s office in March last year to ensure our small business sector has the independent advocacy and assistance it deserves,” Mr McCormack said.
“One year on we wanted to ensure it is working as effectively as it can to champion Australia’s small business sector and assist those Australians in small business who need advice.”
The review team heard from more than 30 stakeholders, including Government agencies and industry bodies, in assessing the effectiveness and efficiency of the Ombudsman’s operations.
“The feedback from small business is that the role is working well – especially on inquiries into specific matters which affect small businesses across the country,” Mr McCormack said.
“From the impact on small and family businesses, truckies and the freight industry under the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal to small business loans and payment times, I have heard from small businesses around Australia of the importance of an independent and effective voice in their corner.
“Small business is a critical part of growing our economy and creating jobs and opportunities for Australians. So it’s vital we all work together to ensure the sector can be at its best.”
The Ombudsman received more than 2,000 requests for assistance in 2016 from small businesses and family enterprises, working with other Commonwealth and State agencies to help.
“I am delighted to see how small business values the service and encourage more to use it should they have questions or require assistance,” Mr McCormack said.
The review was led by Su McCluskey, who has a farming and family-run small business background.
“I thank Su and her team for conducting the review and am pleased to hear about the difference the Ombudsman is making,” Mr McCormack said.
“I look forward to hearing more about how Australians in small businesses and family enterprises use the independent advocate they deserve to help them grow and create jobs.”
The report can be found on the Treasury’s website.