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Red tape effects on COVID recovery underestimated by small businesses

Adrian Flores
Adrian Flores
09 July 2020 1 minute readShare
red tape

Many businesses are underestimating the volume and complexity of bookkeeping and administration in their COVID-19 recovery plan as government measures are being put forward to address the issue.

The QuickBooks COVID-19 Recovery Report revealed that 60 per cent of small businesses underestimated the volume of red tape while running their business.

The time and effort required when setting up a small business was also highly underestimated by owners, with 66 per cent citing it as a concern.

The study was conducted online between 15 and 29 June 2020 and is comprised of a sample of 509 owners of small businesses with fewer than 10 employees.

The finding comes as the Queensland government reveals its COVID planning red tape reduction strategy.

Proposed changes as part of the strategy include simplifying or removing a number of current planning approvals, including:

  • If a business tenancy changes within an existing building, such as a hairdresser replacing a café in a local town centre
  • Where a business is starting up or relocating to a location where the use is well suited and expected in that particular zone
  • Making minor expansions to allow businesses to accommodate social distancing requirements
  • Providing flexibility for home businesses in residential areas and farm stays in rural areas
  • For temporary events such as school fetes or farmer’s markets

Under the Queensland strategy, amendments would also see approvals for critical infrastructure like hospitals and schools streamlined by allowing for environmental assessment and public consultation to occur simultaneously.

In addition, time frames for undertaking approved development have recently been extended, providing greater flexibility and certainty for the building and construction industries.

Treasurer and Minister for Infrastructure and Planning Cameron Dick said the strategy will help businesses trade more quickly and will propel job creation.

“The changes we’re proposing in response to the ongoing COVID pandemic are designed to ease the economic burden for businesses across our state,” Mr Dick said.

“These small but significant changes to Queensland’s planning processes will shape our economic recovery for the better.”

In May, federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said cutting red tape to reduce the cost burden on businesses was a key priority in recovering from the coronavirus crisis.

“Reskilling and upskilling the workforce; maintaining our $100 billion, 10-year infrastructure pipeline; cutting red tape to reduce the cost burden on businesses and the economy; and tax and industrial relations reform as a means of increasing our competitiveness,” the Treasurer said.

Red tape effects on COVID recovery underestimated by small businesses
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Adrian Flores
Adrian Flores

Adrian Flores is the deputy editor of MyBusiness. Before that, he was the deputy editor for SMSF Adviser as well as features editor for ifa (Independent Financial Adviser), InvestorDaily, Risk Adviser, Fintech Business and Adviser Innovation.

You can email Adrian at [email protected].

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