Small business advocate gets some teeth

Small businesses will shortly be invited to comment on draft legislation that will cement the Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman as a powerful asset in the small business community.

The announcement follows a period of consultation by the federal government and will see the transition of the Small Business Commissioner into the Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman.

Minister for Small Business, The Hon Bruce Billson MP said this new method for small businesses to interact with the Commonwealth will make it easier for the sector to access assistance.

The Ombudsman will provide straightforward, honest advice that will help businesses understand disputes and how they can be avoided in the future.

As part of its key responsibilities, the Ombudsman will be a:

  • Commonwealth-wide advocate for small businesses and family enterprises.
  • Concierge for dispute resolution service.
  • Contributor to the development of small business friendly. Commonwealth laws and regulations.

The Ombudsman will also seamlessly link with the government’s Single Business Service to help small businesses easily find out about other government services and programs, including general business advice.

The Australian Small Business Commissioner will continue to operate while the finer details of the Ombudsman’s new role is established.