Cairns small businesses win in State Budget

Business is about to get better for small and medium sized businesses in Cairns thanks to this year’s State Budget.

Minister for Employment and Small Business Shannon Fentiman met local business owners at the Pullman International to discuss how they can continue to grow their business.

“We know small and medium businesses are the engine room of our growing economy and we want to make sure they have the right support they need to grow and create more local jobs,” Ms Fentiman said.

“Payroll tax is the number one issue raised with me when I meet with small business owners.

“We have listened, I’m pleased that this year’s State Budget has delivered $885 million to target payroll tax initiatives to support businesses to create more jobs.

“As of this month, Queensland now has one of the lowest payroll tax threshold rates and lowest tax rates in the country.

“This includes increasing the exemption threshold for payroll tax for all Queensland businesses from $1.1 million to $1.3 million – this will mean 1500 additional businesses will no longer pay any payroll tax.”

“We have also extended our 50 per cent payroll tax rebate for business taking on an apprentice or trainee and where Queensland employers have increased their number of full-time employees, they will be eligible for a payroll tax rebate for these additional employees.

“And for businesses outside of South East Queensland who are employing 85 per cent of more locally will also receive a one per cent regional payroll tax discount.”

Member for Cairns Michael Healy said this State Budget is a budget that will deliver more jobs for Queensland.

“Across the state this payroll tax package is expected to deliver lower taxes for more than 13,000 small and medium businesses, including 600 across Cairns and Far North Queensland,” Mr Healy said.

“This makes Queensland one of the most competitive states to start and grow a small business.”

Paronella Park owners Mark and Judy Evans have been in business for 25 years and are feeling happy and positive about the payroll tax changes.

“These changes are extremely positive for us and other businesses,” Mr Evans said.

“It has let us continue our growth and gives us confidence for the future.

“We have employed three new staff since the payroll tax changes were announced taking our workforce across the park and hotel to about 80 people in total.

“With the seasonal nature of tourism the payroll tax changes give us more room to grow in the busy times and will help us keep our good workers employed through the quieter times as well.”

Queensland Small Business Champion Maree Adshead said she had heard a lot of positive feedback from businesses around the state.

“Business owners and accountants with a lot of small business clients are looking forward to all of the elements of this package being available from next month,” Ms Adshead said.

“I have already heard from businesses saying they will be able to offer a full-time position to a casual staff member or increase the hours of a part-time worker thanks to these changes. Planning ahead is a bit easier and the future for many businesses is brighter now.”

The Queensland Government offers a range of information, support and programs to assist new businesses to start and existing businesses to grow.

“In addition to the payroll tax package, this year’s State Budget committed a further $4 million to our successful small business grants programs, we will develop an online Queensland Business Launch Pad that will provide a one-stop-shop for a range of information and we will deliver a tool to make employing an apprentice or trainee easier for small business,” Ms Fentiman said.

“We have also recently released the Queensland Small Business Procurement Commitment, which is working to make it easier for small businesses to supply to the Government and will reduce payment times.”

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