Friday, 19 May 2023
Calls to reinstate business support program scrapped by Labor
A program which has supported more than 1,300 businesses across the Wide Bay-Burnett region has been cut by the Albanese Government in its Budget, with the service to end on 30 June 2023.
Federal Member for Hinkler Keith Pitt said the decision to scrap the Entrepreneurship Facilitator Service was done without any consultation or review of the program.
“Cancelling a successful program which was funded for another two years seems to be another Labor cost-cutting exercise with no alternative support services in place. I have written to the Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations calling on him to reinstate the program,” Mr Pitt said.
“The Coalition Government expanded the Entrepreneurship Facilitators Program in 2018 to 20 additional locations, which included the Wide Bay Burnett region.
“The program’s aim was to provide practical assistance and support for people wanting to start their own business. Now, any business needing help will struggle to get the support they need.
“Since 2019, Regional HQ – which runs the Entrepreneurship Facilitators Program in Bundaberg and Hervey Bay – has supported 1,347 businesses.
“It has also delivered 281 workshops and provided free mentoring sessions to 1,887 people starting up a business.”
Mr Pitt said the Entrepreneurship Facilitators Program was only one year into a three-year agreement and an alternative program suggested to assist businesses had much stricter eligibility criteria.
“This decision by the Albanese Government means that if businesses need some help, they might not be able to get it.
“Small and medium businesses are the backbone of our local economy and Australia has so many entrepreneur success stories, it’s disappointing that the Labor Government doesn’t want to foster and support this have a go attitude.”