Support for small business initiatives in Council Budget
The Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland (CCIQ) welcomes small business initiatives announced today in the Brisbane City Council 2016-17 Budget.
CCIQ senior policy advisor Kate Whittle, who attended the budget delivery from Lord Mayor Graham Quirk, said some of the measures would definitely assist small businesses across the city.
“CCIQ welcomed key announcements targeting the small business community, in particular the $3.7 million allocated to attracting tourism and major events; $2.3 million allocated to supporting SMEs and start-ups; and $1.4 million for a business hotline,” she said.
However, Ms Whittle said the $3bn Budget included a 4.7 per cent rates rise - three times the inflation rate of 1.7 per cent.
“Cr Quirk noted that the rates rise was adjusted to pay for the infrastructure upgrades required to tackle congestion and build the necessary infrastructure required to accommodate for the growth of Brisbane.
“While it is unfortunate to see such a steep increase in rates across the Brisbane Local Government Area, CCIQ supported elements of the Budget which committed to helping small business.
“We are pleased with meaningful action outlined in the areas of traffic congestion and public transport delivery.”
CCIQ surveyed more than 1000 businesses in the lead up to the Council elections in March 2016, with business declaring the following infrastructure priorities:
• Ease traffic congestion in Brisbane City as a matter of priority;
• Accelerate upgrades to the Wynnum Road Corridor to ease congestion;
• Conduct lane-widening and road-sealing along Kingsford Smith Drive;
• Progress upgrades to the Inner City Bypass to increase Brisbane’s capacity;
• More cost-effective public transport facilities to encourage greater patronage; and
• Help deliver Cross River Rail as a congestion-busting measure.
Ms Whittle said CCIQ acknowledged that BCC had listened to small business by allocating money in the Budget for the following upgrades:
• $600m Kingsford Smith Drive;
• $90m stage 1 Wynnum Road Corridor;
• $78m complete upgrade of Inner City Bypass;
• Other projects (90congestion-busting measures); and
• $122m public transport spend to subsidise bus and ferry operations.