Toowoomba Chamber of Commerce CEO Todd Rohl.
Toowoomba Chamber of Commerce CEO Todd Rohl.

Chamber joins with CCIQ in saying budget ‘doesn’t go far enough’

The Toowoomba Chamber of Commerce has joined with the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland in saying the State Budget “fails to deliver the immediate measures needed to protect business”.

CCIQ economist Jack Baxter said despite increased borrowings, there was a missed opportunity to outline “additional immediate measures to assist small businesses over what is expected to be a tough recovery”.

“The budget included $500 million for the Backing Small Business Fund which is welcomed as it provides targeted investment to established businesses to invest in capital to expand, scale and grow,” he said.

“Overall, this budget is heavily focused on infrastructure, which is only one part of our recovery.”

Toowoomba Chamber of Commerce CEO Todd Rohl said the chamber was supportive of the Small Business Fund and the accelerated infrastructure spend for Queensland, as they “appear on the surface to provide opportunity for small business”.

“The investments announced in skills and capability development, the commitment to the small business commissioner and reinvigorating the Small Business Advisory Council are all positives,” he said.

“But more detail is required to ensure the Toowoomba small business community gets its fair share.”

The Toowoomba Chamber agreed with CCIQ economist Jack Baxter’s analysis that “outside of that the budget does not provide any further immediate support for small businesses to keep people in jobs and insulate businesses over what will be a critical next six months as JobKeeper ends”.

“CCIQ called for a complete waiver of the COVID-19 payroll tax deferments, as that would have provided businesses some relief concerning the payments that will need to be repaid early in the new year,” Mr Rohl said.

“Instead, businesses are now in a situation where the deferments, which are effectively a tax debt, coincide with the recommencement of payroll tax and the cessation of the JobKeeper stimulus.

“Businesses will struggle, and jobs are at risk. Sole traders also missed out, which will impact the economic recovery throughout our regions.”

Originally published as Chamber joins with CCIQ in saying budget ‘doesn’t go far enough’