Queensland’s Small Business Commissioner and office permanent from today
Published Tuesday, 03 May, 2022 at 12:11 PM
Minister for Employment and Small Business and Minister for Training and Skills Development
The Honourable Di Farmer
The state’s Small Business Commissioner from today becomes a permanent position to support Queensland’s 448,000 small businesses.
Minister for Employment and Small Business Di Farmer said the appointment allowed the Small Business Commissioner to continue providing small businesses with ready access to support, information and advice, and reduce the time and costs associated with resolving disputes.
“The Small Business Commissioner and team advocates for small business at all levels of government, provides assistance for small business disputes, offers a low-cost mediation service for retail shop lease disputes under the Retail Shop Leases Act 1994, and resolves franchise disputes.
“We know that saving time and money is key for small businesses.”
Minister Farmer said establishing the position and office of Small Business Commissioner was one of several actions by the Palaszczuk Government as the COVID-19 pandemic took hold to assist small business owners, including in relation to issues with their retail leases.
“Commissioner Maree Adshead was temporarily appointed as Commissioner during the COVID-19 pandemic, and she and her team have provided a very valuable service over the past two years.
“Following the passing of the Small Business Commissioner Act 2022 in March, the position and office of Small Business Commissioner become permanent from today.
“Ms Adshead and her office have been a voice for small businesses across Queensland, helping small business throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as leading engagement with government at all levels to champion Queensland small business needs and issues,” Minister Farmer said.
“Since May 2020 the temporary Commissioner’s office has carried out more than 7000 activities to assist small businesses, commercial tenants, and landlords, received more than 5000 enquiries, been in receipt of more than 1000 disputes, performed more than 600 outreach activities, and advocated on behalf of small business in more than 200 matters.
“The Commissioner has demonstrated the need for a dedicated government access point for small business support and the result is a permanent appointment to ensure businesses continue to receive this high-quality support and advice.”
Ms Adshead said it had been satisfying to advocate for, support and provide a voice for small business of Queensland.
“I am proud of the work my team has done to support many small business tenants and landlords who have accessed our free mediation service and dispute resolution assistance,” Ms Adshead said.
“We have been able to resolve 66 per cent of the commercial lease disputes received by my office, which I believe has gone a long way towards relieving the financial stress and improving the mental health of our small businesses.
“Our Small Business Friendly Councils have started to deliver a tangible difference to the way 32 participating local councils engage with, buy from, and regulate small business activities in their area and more Councils are set to join us.”
Minister Farmer said small businesses made up more than 90 per cent of all businesses in Queensland.
“Small businesses give so much to our communities and to the Queensland economy so it’s vital we continue to support the neighbours, families and friends behind small business to ensure the can thrive,” Minister Farmer said.
“I look forward to hearing more success stories from the Commissioner and from small business owners as they continue to work together.”
A national recruitment process for a permanent appointment to the position of Small Business Commissioner will commence shortly.
For further information or support visit www.business.qld.gov.au/qsbc or call 1300 312 344.
Media contact: Joe Begley 0482 914 103