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COSBOA tells govt to “get out of the way” ahead of HomeBiz Connect

Wednesday, 6 February 2013 | By Michelle Hammond

A small business group wants fewer regulations but more support for home-based businesses, which are being touted as “the way to Asia”, ahead of the HomeBiz Connect program.

 

HomeBiz Connect, an initiative of BEC Australia (BECA), aims to provide a one-stop-shop for home-based businesses in understanding and accessing relevant government information.

 

BECA, which is the peak body for Business Enterprise Centres, claims to be the only network in Australia working exclusively with the micro and small business community.

 

HomeBiz Connect will be rolled out nationally from February to May, after BECA received funding from the Department of Innovation, Industry, Science, Research and Tertiary Education.

 

The first expo will be held in Sydney on February 7, with the final expo to be held in Darwin on May 30. The other expo dates are listed here.

 

Sessions will be conducted with short, sharp sound bites of information, geared towards providing home-based start-ups with much-needed information on relevant topics.

 

The expo will showcase a wide range of exhibitors including government departments, regulatory authorities, corporate and local small businesses.

 

Attendants will also have the opportunity to meet with potential suppliers.

 

The Council of Small Business of Australia has thrown its support behind HomeBiz Connect, but believes more can be done to help home-based businesses.

 

In addition to better support services, COSBOA is calling for more in-depth research into the sector. This, it says, is essential if Australia is to become a major player in the Asian Century.

 

However, COSBOA executive director Peter Strong said the government also needs to “get out of the way” of home-based businesspeople.

 

“The chairman of BECA, Jack Hughes, stated recently that many home-based entrepreneurs are getting caught off guard by rules and regulations they didn’t know about, and he is right,” he said in a statement.

 

“For example, there are still many areas where a home-based businessperson is supposed to register their business with local government.

 

“Why? Apparently it is so we don’t have dirty or noisy businesses in the suburbs.

 

“Another reason given is that the businesses might have too many cars parked out the front disturbing the street scene.

 

“Home-based businesses are not noisy or even noticeable. So regulators and policymakers of Australia, be aware that this is a new area that needs very minimal regulation.”

 

Strong said home-based businesspeople should not be “fettered by rules and regulations made up by people who are stuck in [the] last century”.

 

“Let these people do their own thing, especially when developing new products and services for Asia, and don’t go looking for ways to inhibit them or confuse them,” he said.

 

With regard to HomeBiz Connect, Strong said there are several things attendants should do.

 

“We recommend that businesspeople attend and do two things,” he said.

 

“First is to take advantage of the program, and second to let those who write policy know that there are too many unneeded rules and processes, and they should get out of the way.”