GST to help small businesses: acting small business minister

Closing doors: WA Commerce and Industrial Relations Minister Bill Johnston said it was concerning when small businesses closed down. Photo: Shutterstock.
Closing doors: WA Commerce and Industrial Relations Minister Bill Johnston said it was concerning when small businesses closed down. Photo: Shutterstock.

Western Australia’s acting small business minister has urged communities to collaborate to encourage a lively and sustainable business environment.

WA Commerce and Industrial Relations Minister Bill Johnston said the government was supporting small businesses through a range of policies and was hopeful a greater portion of the GST would have positive flow-on effects.

Mr Johnston said it was always concerning when small businesses closed down, with each town in WA having unique challenges that need to be considered.

“The McGowan Government has been working to create jobs and support local businesses through a range of policies,” he said. 

“One example, includes the introduction of the WA Jobs Bill 2017, which gives WA businesses more opportunities to compete for government contracts. It’s important for landlords, tenants, the local government authority and the community to work collaboratively to encourage a sustainable and lively business environment.” With the recent announcement regarding a possible higher share of GST for WA, Mr Johnston said any increase would potentially have a positive flow-on effect for small businesses. 

It’s important for landlords, tenants, the local government authority and the community to work collaboratively.

Bill Johnston

“We would expect any increase in WA’s share of the GST would have a positive effect on investment, consumer confidence and spending,” he said.

“There is still a long way to go before any additional money flows to WA.”

Mr Johnston also said the Small Business Friendly Local Governments initiative was currently being used by 11 regional local governments, but City of Mandurah was not one of them. 

“Participating local governments have made the commitment to value small businesses as stakeholders, customers and suppliers and proactively work to improve the business operating environment,” he said. 

“This includes increasing local government purchases from local suppliers, improving communication to make it easier for small business operators to open, trialing free trade area permits and providing grants for shop front upgrades.”