In the lead up to the Federal election next month, Jim Penman, Aussie franchise icon and Founder of Jim’s Group, has detailed the key things that he says Australia’s franchise industry needs to have addressed.
Melbourne-based Penman – who has spent more than 20 years growing Jim’s Mowing into the Jim’s Group, a massive service franchise network now comprising 36 widely varying divisions – says that too much red tape is choking businesses and preventing employment growth in the franchise industry. Penman says the top item on his ‘election wish list’ would be for a reduction in government imposed small business regulations, especially in areas relating to employment, such as penalty rates and dismissals.
“Compliance costs are considerable and it certainly cuts down on the staff I am willing to employ,” he says. “Many franchisees simply won't employ people at all in an environment that is so hostile to employers.”
Other items on Penman’s election wish list include a cut in the corporate tax rate, which he believes would be helpful even if balanced by higher taxes elsewhere: “It's very difficult to reinvest to grow the business if you're losing 30 per cent straight off.”
Penman rounds out his list with a desire for a change in immigration laws so that people from overseas who have the money and desire to buy a franchise business in Australia can do so.
“The current laws favour people with paper qualifications over those with decades of valuable business and trade experience,” he argues. “Business visas are not suitable because the amount of investment required knocks out 98 per cent of suitable people.
“What about a temporary visa that allows people to buy a business that employs at least two Australians, and provides permanent residence if it does so for at least five years?”
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