Business Enterprise Centre Closures a Real Loss for Business Community

Better Business Aug/Sept 04

Business Enterprise Centre Closures a Real Loss for Business Community

Earlier this month, the Carr Government delivered another slap in the face for rural and regional NSW for small businesses in announcing that 50 Business Enterprise Centres (BEC) would be replaced by 18 centralised offices.

This announcement is as a result of the Carr Government slashing of the NSW Regional Development Budget to the tune of $2.5 million dollars next year with further cuts increasing to $6 million dollars in the following years.

Both Lismore and Casino Centres have successfully provided a FREE Business Advisory Service to the North Coast business community over many years and more importantly has the infrastructure in place to meet the needs of its own local community to meet contractual arrangements with the State Government. A tremendous amount of knowledge, skills and experience is tied up with our LOCAL BEC Network.

These Centres are a catalyst for community based projects that are responsive to communities needs, it is the first port of call for information to a large number of community organisations and an effective referral point, being a very cost-effective RESOURCE for THE GOVERNMENT.

Katrina Hodgkinson, Shadow Minister for Small Business and Fair Trading, visited the Lismore Electorate last month to speak with Managers and teams of the Lismore and Casino Business Enterprise Centres. These discussions reinforced the need for BEC's within our area to support not only current small businesses, but to encourage and provide local advice to develop new ventures.

Katrina has produced a brochure, titled "Advancing Small Business - Knowing your facts and Issues". This publication is available from my office upon request and as a Small Business owner myself, I appreciated this document which covered State taxes and charges, payroll tax, websites, unfair dismissal legislation, WorkCover Regulations and statistics.

Lismore Contact Details:

Office: 55 Carrington Street  LISMORE
Postal: PO Box 52  LISMORE  NSW  2480
Telephone: 02 6621 3624
Facsimile: 02 6622 1403
Email: lismore@parliament.nsw.gov.au

Murwillumbah Contact Details:

Telephone: 02 6672 7577