Maintaining momentum for small business innovation

Small Business Minister Stuart Nash says the report of the Small Business Council will help maintain the momentum for innovation and improvements in the sector.

Mr Nash has thanked the members of the Small Business Council (SBC) who this week handed over their report, Empowering small businesses to aspire, succeed and thrive.

“I appointed the members of the SBC in August 2018 with one primary objective. I asked them to help government develop a strategy to drive performance and innovation for small and medium enterprises,” Mr Nash says.

“While the SBC has been working on its report, the government has kept up momentum on business-friendly initiatives.

“We are offering new incentives for research and development; taking action on unfair commercial practices; improving access to venture capital; encouraging innovative use of technology like e-invoicing; bringing greater fairness to the tax system especially where multinationals compete with local firms; and improving infrastructure in the regions.

“These initiatives that are already underway will create a productive, sustainable and inclusive economy that will benefit all New Zealanders, especially small business owners and people employed in small businesses.

“I look forward to now considering the SBC report, which contains 20 recommendations to complement our work programme.

“I will take the time to talk to colleagues across government about how best to drive progress and use the SBC’s work to support the Prime Minister’s Business Advisory Council, which includes SMEs as a priority.

“As well as developing a small business strategy the SBC also provided advice on support structures for the sector, methods of defining and capturing data on small business, and ways to continue the work programme initiated by Council members.  

“I would like to thank the SBC for its hard work over the past year.  Its recommendations are wide-ranging and touch on the work of many different portfolios and agencies.

“Small businesses are a vital part of our economy and way of life. They make up 97 per cent of all businesses and employ more than 600,000 people. By taking steps to drive performance and innovation, we can make real progress for the people who run small businesses and the communities they contribute to,” Mr Nash says.

The SBC report and the government response are expected to be released in the next couple of months.

Details of the council’s membership and terms of reference are here