From the Commissioner – May 2022

As you may already know May was Queensland Small Business Month. I was recently asked, what’s the purpose of Queensland Small Business Month?

After attending many events, I believe there are many worthy outcomes:

  • It reminds customers to shop and spend locally with small businesses
  • It’s a chance to highlight and celebrate the many inspiring achievements of small business owners
  • It provides people with the opportunity to attend a diverse array of face to face or online events right across Queensland, which connects small business owners with each other and provides an opportunity for them to share experiences and ideas, to learn from each other, and to forge new relationships
  • It introduces small businesses to, or reconnects them with their business ‘support crew’
  • And equally as important, it allows businesses to down tools, relax in the company of their peers, and celebrate what it means to be a small business owner.

It was wonderful to see many of our 33 Small Business Friendly Councils hosting events with their local business communities. I was so pleased to be in Cooktown today for Cook Shire Council’s inaugural women in business networking breakfast. Only two months after signing up to the Small Business Friendly Charter, Cook is off to running start, increasing its engagement and relationships with the local business community and chamber of commerce. During May we also welcomed Brisbane City Council into the Small Business Friendly family. Congratulations for pledging your commitment to Queensland’s largest small business community.

I’ve been hearing of the fresh challenges being experienced by small business owners impacted by the flood events in the South-East over the past couple of months. I’ve heard reports that it is harder (and more costly) to replace damaged equipment due to extended lead times, and with trades being in higher than usual demand. That is why we established the Queensland Small Business Hardship Appeal in partnership with GIVIT to connect businesses in hardship to the equipment, funds or skills they need to get back up and running sooner. I have set out below how to make a request, or to give a donation.

As a small business owner for many years, I know the value of a good time-saver. Business Queensland has this month launched its new business essentials content – it is a treasure trove of guides, fact sheets and checklists to help step you the basics of what you need to know at every stage of your business journey.

My office is now officially operating under the new Small Business Commissioner Act 2022 (SBCA) which means disputes under the Retail Shop Leases Act 1994 are now required to make an application for mediation through my office prior to applying to QCAT. We also continue to deal with all other business lease disputes under the SBCA and in the interests of efficiency, and ideally to get help get outcomes sooner, we operate entirely online and always try to get the parties working together to informally resolve their issues. Please contact us online if you need assistance with a dispute.

Besides being Queensland Small Business Month, May was also the month of the federal election. Next month I am meeting with fellow interstate small business commissioners together with the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman, to discuss common advocacy issues and of course to ensure the needs and priorities of Queenslanders in small business are heard by our new Australian government leaders.

As always, we continue to monitor for new grants, supports and services relevant to small business. Don’t forget to check our curated help and support guide to see what’s new. We keep it updated with all the latest options.

Maree Adshead
Queensland Small Business Commissioner

For more details, read the QSBC newsletter May 2022