INNOVATION was the key theme during a visit by Minister for Small Business Michael McCormack to Armidale.
Mr McCormack said Armidale and the surrounding region was a leader in innovation in the small business sector and was thrilled to visit the University of New England's SMART region incubator and SMART farm to learn more.
"The collaborative nature of the SMART region incubator shows working together can create opportunities for small business growth," Mr McCormack said.
"Recognising your strengths and sharing ideas with other businesses so they can succeed and grow is truly inspiring.
"A culture of innovation is one the Coalition Government strongly supports and it is great to see a regional centre rather than a big city is leading the way."
Mr McCormack also met with the Armidale Business Chamber to learn about its work with the small business community and took the opportunity to talk more about the Government's small business agenda.
"This week we announced a small business digital taskforce which will be headed by one of Australia's most successful entrepreneurs, Mark Bouris AM," Mr McCormack said.
"We want to ensure more Australian small businesses can thrive in an increasingly digital economy and maximise the opportunities for doing business online.
"We want to hear ideas from across the country as well as understand what challenges exist by going digital and I strongly encourage small businesses in Armidale and New England to tell us what they think."
Mr McCormack said there are 19,915 small businesses in New England and the Coalition Government is committed to backing each and every one of them.
"We know small businesses are the real job creators in Australia and the engine room of our economy and we have delivered tax cuts, simplified GST reporting and extended the $20,000 instant asset write-off so they can invest their time and money in their business and get on with the job."
Capping off a big week for small business the Coalition Government announced it will ensure small businesses providing goods and services to the Government receive faster payments.
The Government will now be required to pay invoices for contracts worth up to $1 million within 20 calendar days, an improvement from the current policy of 30 days. This will put money back in the pockets of small business, helping them invest, grow and employ more workers.
You can find out more about the small business package at the Small Business webpage.