From the Commissioner – November 2022

eco from the commissioner

Businesses have been raising a particularly broad variety of queries and issues with our office lately, so this month’s newsletter will attempt to address some of the common themes.

We know many of our small businesses rent their business premises and may have received some form of rent relief, whether it was part of the mandatory scheme during COVID or by negotiation outside of the scheme. These tenants and their landlords might like to check out the Australian Taxation Office (ATO)’s recently published guidance material which helps tenants and landlords understand the taxation implications of reporting those rent discounts, deferrals or waivers. You can access the guidance material here.

We’ve also received enquiries from businesses about how they can demonstrate environmental, social and governance (ESG) credentials generally or when responding to tenders. With Brisbane 2032 announced as the Climate Positive Games, demonstrating green credentials is really important to winning related work and you can subscribe for updates direct to your inbox on the latest Olympic Games procurement news.

To help you demonstrate your environmental commitments, the Queensland Government has partnered with the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland (CCIQ) to provide the ecoBiz program. This free program helps you understand your business’ carbon footprint and evaluate how your business consumes water, energy and produces waste. Participating in the ecoBiz program could also earn your business a ‘star partner’ rating which would be very handy. Check out the ecoBiz video by CCIQ and the additional information in the tile below.

You might recall last month we shared a remarkable statistic – every 29 seconds a new ABN is registered in Australia. With so many new entrants to the market, we know how important it is to access reliable information to help you on your business journey. We’ve heard from many businesses how great the refreshed content on Business Queensland is, so we thought we’d give it another plug so you know where to find it! The business health checks are a great place to start.

For those who may be considering franchising a business, the ACCC’s six franchise online learning modules are definitely worth the time. We particularly like the sample checklist of questions you can download to ask the franchisor and other franchisees. The sixth module covers franchising a business with rented premises, which helps you understand many of the common questions that small business franchisees raise with our dispute resolution service. Before signing up, we recommend you complete this informative short course.

We also don’t want you to forget about the Small Business Wellness package. The financial counsellors and wellness coaches have been doing a great job according to the lovely feedback we’ve been hearing from business owners right across Queensland who have taken the time to look after themselves. Look after your business’ greatest asset – you!

And here’s another reminder, you have until 5 December to register your interest in the $5,000 Business Basics grants program. We’ve included more information in the tile below about this grant process works. Additionally, make sure you read our regularly updated support document which also contains information about grants and support available for you and your business.

It’s so great to hear that 78% of Queensland businesses are now operating in a Small Business Friendly Council area! During November we were delighted to welcome Bundaberg Regional Council to the growing network of Small Business Friendly Councils and look forward to getting together with Bundaberg and its three local business chambers early in the new year.

We are mindful how crazy December can be for some businesses while for others it can be especially tough as doors close but wages and other costs continue. We’ll be here until 23 December and will reopen in the new year – so please don’t hesitate to get in contact if you need us. We’ll also send out our final newsletter and update for the year just before the break.

Maree Adshead
Queensland Small Business Commissioner

For more details, read the QSBC newsletter November 2022