Small Business commissioner office now open

Published Thursday, 28 May, 2020 at 02:00 PM

Minister for Employment and Small Business and Minister for Training and Skills Development
The Honourable Shannon Fentiman

Queensland’s Small Business Champion, Maree Adshead, will take on the new role of Small Business Commissioner until the end of 2020 to help the sector recover from the impact of COVID-19.

Minister for Employment and Small Business Shannon Fentiman said as the Small Business Commissioner, Ms Adshead will have powers dispute resolution and will be able to provide greater support to small business during the recovery phase.

“Our thousands of small businesses are struggling due to the COVID-19 crisis, and now more than ever they need assistance,” Ms Fentiman said.

“The establishment of the Commissioner will provide a single point of contact for small businesses handling leasing disputes will result in time, money and resource savings for business owners and government.”

“We know that dispute resolution can come at a significant cost for small business owners in terms of legal services, time away from their business, lost productivity and income, as well as additional expenses and stress.”

“Ms Adshead will continue as a strong voice for our small businesses, providing the outstanding advocacy and support role that she has fulfilled since 2017.”

Queensland Small Business Commissioner Maree Adshead said she was looking forward to providing even greater support to Queensland’s thousands of small businesses.

“Small businesses are experiencing incredibly tough times and they need support to keep their businesses up and running and their employees in jobs so they can drive our recovery,” Ms Adshead said.

“We know it is likely that the COVID-19 pandemic will have long-term effects on the Queensland economy and the small business community.

“My job will be to assist businesses who are navigating what can be a difficult process of accessing rent relief and of course I will continue to advocate for small businesses and give them a voice at the national table.”

“We’ve worked quickly to create online guidance materials and information for small business tenants and landlords, so I encourage anyone seeking assistance to check that out.  We have also created a general dispute resolution resource finder to help with broader small business issues. ”

The Minister said Ms Adshead’s new role will bring us in line with every other state and their role will assist with Queensland’s implementation of the National Cabinet Mandatory Code of Conduct - SME Leasing Principles during COVID-19.

“During her role as Small Business Champion, Ms Adshead has assisted thousands of small businesses through her hands-on approach, which was evident during her commitment to the recovery efforts after the devastating floods in North Queensland last year,” Ms Fentiman said.

“During this time of crisis, the recovery of the vital small business sector needs a full-time role with increased powers.

“We want to provide the sector with as much support as possible as soon as possible.”

The Commissioner’s role will include mediation for retail leasing disputes under the COVID-19 Emergency Response Act and assistance with the implementation of the National Cabinet Mandatory Code of Conduct - SME Leasing Principles during COVID-19.

For assistance and information on commercial leasing issues please visit: call 1300 312 344



Media contact:                      Inga Williams              0439 949 719