From the Commissioner
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 member 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 (see below) – 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. I’ve also highlighted a handy EOFY checklist below.
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.
Queensland Small Business Commissioner
Queensland Small Business Hardship Appeal
We’ve partnered with GIVIT to launch the Queensland Small Business Hardship Appeal. This appeal has been created to help small businesses who are experiencing hardship due to things outside of their control such as the COVID-19 pandemic, floods or bushfires.
Whether it’s new tools for a tradie suffering from financial hardship, or furniture for a café that lost everything in the floods, these requests can be listed on GIVIT.org.au for generous Queenslanders to browse what’s needed and donate.
If you’re a small business experiencing hardship, please contact our office to be connected with our Small Business Hardship Appeal partners on 1300 312 344.
If you’re a small business who’d like to pledge your support for businesses experiencing hardship you can nominate items needed or donate funds that businesses can use to get their business back up and running via: givit.org.au/appeals/givit-together.
New online resources for businesses
Business Queensland has been updated to include new and updated resources to support business owners. There are updates across a number of topics, including:
Step-by-step guides, practical advice and videos are now available for business owners and operators to work through at their own pace to develop tailored plans and introduce strategies to help their business thrive. More information available via: www.business.qld.gov.au.
Business Launchpad reduces red tape for small businesses and can save you time and effort when starting or running your business. You can use this platform to help you:
- discover licences, permits and regulatory information from all levels of government
- manage your priority applications
- find, fill and save your progress as you complete necessary forms
- submit some applications online
Business Launchpad is now available to residential construction or food and beverage entrepreneurs and business owners in:
- Banana Shire Council
- Charters Towers Regional Council
- Gladstone Regional Council
- Hope Vale Aboriginal Shire Council
- Lockyer Valley Regional Council
- Mareeba Shire Council
- North Burnett Regional Council
- Northern Peninsula Area Regional Council
- Weipa Town Authority
- Woorabinda Aboriginal Shire Council.
Changes to super guarantee
From 1 July 2022, two important super guarantee (SG) changes will apply to business owners:
- The rate of the SG is increasing from 10% to 10.5%
- The $450 per month eligibility threshold for when the SG is paid is being removed.
What does this mean for businesses?
- Businesses need to make SG contributions at the new rate of 10.5%
- Employees can be eligible for SG regardless of how much they earn
- Businesses may have to pay SG for the first time to some (or all) employees
Resources for businesses
- If you’re paying the SG for one or more employees for the first time, you’ll need to give them a Standard Choice Form
- If your employee doesn’t provide you with a choice of super fund review the Stapled Super Fund information for guidance on what to do next.
Queensland Digital Licence is legal and legitimate
The Queensland Digital Licence App (DLA) is an application available on smart devices, which allows customers to store and display their credentials, such as a driver licence and/or photo identification card in a digital format.
Legislation was passed in July 2020 making the Digital Licence the legal equivalent to that of the physical licence. If you’re a business located in Townsville the next stage of the digital licence trial is heading your way. This means you need to remind your staff that the digital licence is a legal and legitimate form of identification.
Businesses can follow these simply steps to verify a customer’s digital identification when they’re using the Digital Licence App:
- Visually verify the details contained in the Digital Licence
- Verify a Digital Licence using the verifier app by scanning the QR code on the customer’s phone
Additional resources for businesses:
- Download the Digital Licence App fact sheet
- Download and print the visual identifier cheat sheet
- Request access to the Digital Licence verifier app
If you’d like to accept the Digital Licence App at your business and would like to receive a support pack and be given the opportunity to provide feedback and input to the app’s development, you can email the team with your business name and contact detail here.
Prepare for end of financial year
The end of the financial year is an important time for small businesses. You’ll need to complete bookkeeping, tax returns and plan for the new financial year.
- Check what record keeping and other tasks to complete
- What tax deductions and concessions you can claim
- Check your tax agent is registered
- Keep up-to-date with tax changes
- Be wary of tax refund scams
- Review your finances
- Review your business and marketing plans
- Review your business structure
- Check your insurances
- Backup and secure your files.
Shorter, simpler Australian domain names are now available with the launch of .au direct.
Key information for businesses
- .au direct means businesses are now able to register .au direct domain names for website and email addresses (i.e. getyour.au).
- Businesses can apply to license .au direct domain names through auDA accredited registrars on the auDA website
- More information about managing .au domain name can be found here.