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Small firms say dealing with Govt ‘a nightmare’


Jacqui Dean - Small Business

18 October 2018

The Government needs to stop talking over New Zealand’s small business owners and start listening because they’re hurting, they’re weighed down by red tape and they’re worried about taxes and labour law, National’s Small Business spokesperson Jacqui Dean says.

“Small business confidence has fallen to a 10-year low – a net 44 percent of those surveyed by ANZ are pessimistic. Investment and hiring intentions have turned negative and more firms expect profits to fall. They are struggling to find skilled workers.

“Based on this Government’s track record, it will try to brush away their concerns or dismiss the survey rather than address the results.

“In stark contrast, National is listening. We’ve gone directly to the people who make up 97 per cent of New Zealand’s total businesses, employ 600,000 Kiwis and generate some $80 billion of wealth each year.

“Some 2400 took time out from their busy day to give us their feedback – their uncensored views on what hurts and what would help. We managed to connect in a way the Government’s Small Business Council hasn’t. In fact we’ve heard very little from the Council since it was announced.

“Top of the list of concerns for small business owners is being ‘strangled’ by red tape. They’re worried about uncertainty over Government policy, especially what it means for workplace relations and taxes.

“As one put it: ‘What a nightmare. I feel depressed … too much red tape and tax everywhere.’ Another said: ‘These union changes are the scariest challenges I have seen in the past 30 years.’ One made a simple plea: ‘Please keep the 90 day trial!!!!!!!!’ while another said: ‘Labour is strangling small businesses. We're the backbone of the country. Help us, don’t punish us.’

“These are real New Zealanders trying to get ahead. They’ve taken a risk in starting their own businesses. Many may have mortgaged their homes. They want to invest and hire more workers. But they feel the Government isn’t listening.

“National is listening because we respect small business owners and we recognise their contribution to our economy and our communities. We want to take on board their concerns as we develop policy for the 2020 election. And we want to help their businesses and our economy grow.”

ends

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