A positive start to the new year
Welcome to the February issue of xpress.
This year has the potential to be a productive year for business in South Australia.
Results from the latest Commonwealth Bank Business SA Survey of Business Expectations reveal that many businesses are regaining confidence and looking forward to the year ahead.
There are a number of activities and events on the agenda in the coming months including the State election on 20 March.
With South Australia emerging from the economic downturn in relatively good shape, there are some exciting opportunities ahead for the next Government.
Business SA will launch its pre-election policy document at a special business lunch on 16 February. A Charter for a Prosperous South Australia will be released to engage business, media and the broader community in constructive debate in the lead up to the election.
The Charter highlights the key issues affecting South Australia’s economic sustainability over the next decade and beyond. More information is in this issue of xpress.
We welcomed the recent discussion and debate following the release of our Governance document, Better Democracy in South Australia.
While some suggested that we were stepping beyond our brief to comment on parliamentary process, every day businesses are faced with red tape, excessive taxes, layers of bureaucracy, duplication and conflicting council regulations, which restrict competitiveness across the State.
Once again we saw the issues surrounding our restrictive shop trading hours emerge over the festive period.
It is time to provide retailers with the freedom to determine when they want to open to meet the needs of their customers.
Closing shops over the Boxing Day long weekend was literally turning money away from the local economy, and meanwhile interstate counterparts were open for business over the same weekend.
We welcomed the decision by the Reserve Bank earlier this month to maintain interest rates. The drop in retail figures in December confirmed it was the correct decision with the last three rate rises still to have their full effect.
Business SA’s networking series kicked off for 2010 with a successful event at the Stamford Grand, Glenelg. A full wrap up of the evening along with the calendar of networking events for the year is available in this issue of xpress.
It was pleasing that the State Government recently announced that, if re-elected, it will provide substantial land tax relief which will lift the land tax threshold from $110,000 to $300,000.
We have long argued that it is essential for South Australian businesses to remain competitive against other states and tax relief is critical.
Business SA’s pre-election survey confirmed the concerns of the business community regarding taxation, particularly land tax.
Following the success of the Tour Down Under, Adelaide is set for more action in the next month with the Clipsal 500 and the spectacular festival season. This will provide a great boost for the local economy and the opportunity to capitalise on the increased traffic to the State.
I would also like to pay tribute to our President Robert Atkins who passed away last month. Robert joined the Business SA Board in 2003 and was President since 2007, providing strong, clear and vibrant leadership as the senior voice of Business SA.
There are further comments about Robert’s contribution in this issue of xpress.