Queensland Shadow Treasurer and Member for Mulgrave Curtis Pitt will today spend a few hours with Beverly Humphries and Gary Carr from Mount Sheridan Newspower as part of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland’s (CCIQ) ‘Pollies for Small Business’ program.
Mr Pitt said he has been looking forward to the Pollies with Small Business program.
[singlepic id=600 w=320 h=240 float=left] “I grew up working in our family’s small business and spent most of my school and university years working in retail so it will be great to get a reminder of what it’s like to work in the sector again,” Mr Pitt said.
“Small businesses employ almost half the Queensland workforce and are a vital component of our state’s economy. I strongly believe Queensland is at its best when its small businesses are thriving.
“That’s why I have supported the creation of the ‘Business with Labor’ network to ensure Queensland Labor is in touch with the needs of the business sector – including small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs).”
The Queensland Government’s Small Business website says: “Small businesses complement the economic activity of large organisations by providing them with goods and services, and make up the backbone of the supply chains of larger projects. They power regional development and are the gateway through which many people enter the economy.”
But Mr Pitt said ABS data released this week showed Queensland’s domestic economy has slumped and was far from a glowing endorsement of the LNP’s economic plan.
“Our decade high jobless rate of 6.8% is a key reason why people have been spending less in local economies which has contributed to this poor result in domestic activity,” he said.
“The data reinforces what I hear whenever I speak to small business owners or retail workers across Queensland,” he said.
“Almost without exception, the message is clear: that household disposable incomes are dramatically reduced due to increased cost of living or unemployment, despite the promises of the LNP.
“They also tell me that spending is tight for these reasons, meaning less money to go around in the local economy.
“Government job cuts and reduced spending on capital works projects in regional Queensland by the Newman Government has had an impact on regional economies like Cairns and surrounds.
Mr Pitt also stressed the importance of Labor’s commitment to reintroduce the Skilling Queenslanders for Work program to address youth unemployment in the Far North which is hovering above 20%.
“This policy is actually really important to the small and medium business sectors across our state,” he said.
“We need our young people in work, where they can earn a salary, spend money at local businesses and generally contribute to local economies.
“At the same time young people are upskilling, making them more attractive candidates for SMEs to employ in the medium term – including via apprenticeships and traineeships.”
Yesterday’s Retail Trade figures
In July 2014 Queensland went backwards in retail trade falling by 0.1% trend.
The only State or Territory to record a worse fall was Northern Territory falling by 0.3% trend. New South Wales (0.3%), Western Australia (0.1%), South Australia (0.2%), Tasmania (0.2%) and ACT (0.2%) all recorded growth in retail trade.