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14 June 2018


Minister for State Growth

Supporting small business and industry

The Hodgman Liberal Government understands that small and medium businesses are the heart-beat of the Tasmanian economy and the 2018-19 Budget delivers $13.6 million towards our plan to take this sector to the next level.

Our record infrastructure investment of $2.6 billion to build, roads, bridges, hospitals, schools and homes will be a boon for contractors and sub-contractors many of whom are small to medium businesses.

We are committed to working with the sector to deliver a Business Growth Strategy (B21) through a strategic partnership with business and industry representatives through the Tasmanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Tasmanian Small Business Council, with input from other relevant organisations.

Small business will be supported by the provision of $7.5 million over three years for targeted Small Business Grants for Apprentices and Trainees, worth up to $5,000 for each new trainee or apprentice.

Wide ranging payroll tax initiatives will be introduced for all businesses, but they will especially benefit small to medium businesses and reduce the cost of doing business:

  • Payroll tax will be cut for all businesses by reducing the tax rate to 4 per cent on wages between $1.25 million and $2 million;
  • Payroll Tax Rebate Scheme for apprentices and trainees will be extended to 30 June 2021 for targeted areas facing skill shortages.

A Small Business Advocate for Tasmania will also be appointed to create a more level playing field and assist small businesses by ensuring that small business has every opportunity to grow and prosper.

The Tasmanian Government previously provided seed funding to launch and develop Enterprize Hubs in Launceston and Hobart. In this Budget we will extend this highly regarded program by a further year at a cost of $278,000.

In this Budget we will expand the successful AgriGrowth Loans Scheme by $20 million, including a package for young farmers to access low interest (concessional) loan facilities, to support the Agri‑food sector to expand and create more jobs in regional Tasmania.

Hospitality is also a booming sector, but to ensure it continues to grow it must have a workforce to meet its demands.  The Great Customer Experience is an investment of $2.8 million over 4 years that will expand the existing program to assist 2,000 businesses and include industrial relations and human resource training as well.

The Budget also includes $3 million over 4 years to invest in the development of the Tasmanian Hospitality Association’s Strategic Plan and Workforce Development along with the establishment of a dedicated Hospitality Unit within the Department of Premier and Cabinet.  This initiative will spearhead industry and government collaboration and keep the hospitality industry at the cutting edge.

There are more than 36,000 small businesses in Tasmania employing about 100,000 people and the Hodgman Liberal Government is delivering on our plan to help them prosper and expand and create jobs for more Tasmanians.