The objective of this strategy is to broaden the contribution of the private sector by facilitating growth, economic diversification and new job opportunities. This will be achieved through three strategic imperatives:
• the right business environment;
• supporting business investment; and
• accelerating business innovation.
The programs and activities under the strategy are aligned with these strategic directions. The following sections outline the key activities and programs to be progressed.
Which sounds nice in theory. Not that we ever found Government to being the obstacle to doing business in the ACT.
To create the right environment for business to thrive, the Government will:
– Cut payroll tax. This will give Canberra businesses a tax cut and ensure the ACT has one of Australia’s most competitive payroll tax regimes. Further details will be announced in the June Budget,
– Create a Red Tape Reduction Taskforce to identify, remove and improve outdated, unworkable and illogical business regulations,
– Introduce a new evaluation criteria for all goods and services tenders that puts a weighting against whether the tenderer is a local small or medium sized enterprise (SME) and/or their involvement with local businesses,
– Establish a single entry point for business interactions with Government, to make dealing with the Government simpler and easier, and
– Establish a Government Navigator Program to make it easy for SMEs to connect with expertise inside government.
To support business investment, the Government will:
– Create a specialist unit within the Economic Development Directorate to facilitate and respond quickly to potential business leads across key government agencies. This will ensure investment facilitation becomes a specialist function within Government, and
– Ensure that the Territory is seen as ‘open for business’ by establishing a Canberra brand that reflects the city’s commitment to a knowledge economy.
Innovation is the foundation of economic growth and development, and strong partnerships between
government, business and education institutions are what innovation is built on. To encourage
innovation, the Government will:
– Expand Innovation Connect to further support early-stage business innovation and assist entrepreneurs to commercialise and create value from their innovations,
– Provide new funding for clean tech and sustainability oriented companies, and provide new funding for major proposals on new innovation infrastructure,
– Fund a feasibility study into the creation of a best-practice business incubator,
– Create the My Digital City Innovation Prize, to encourage tertiary students and all interested Canberrans in the development of new digital government services,
– Create the Global Connect program, to act as a single portal for the various trade development activities supported by the Government,
– Provide an extra $500,000 to the Canberra Business Development Fund,
– Support Canberra’s new and growing generation of entrepreneurs through mentoring, advice and, where appropriate, seed funding, and
– Double the funding for CollabIT to $100,000 to help small and medium sized enterprises in the ICT sector.
UPDATE 30/04/12 13:43: The Greens are discouraged that more is not being done, but are generally supportive:
“The enhancement of existing programs such as Lighthouse and Business Point should be beneficial to all ACT SMEs. It is also a positive sign that the Government realise that they should have a single entry point for business, and that the Economic Development Directorate should play a greater role in intra-governmental business development and support.
“But what we need most of all, for the clean, green economy to truly flourish in the ACT is the right business environment, which can be set by well integrated government strategies which clearly identify a movement towards a greener future.