Jos de Bruin, CEO, MGA TMA, tells how small businesses can thrive together.

Independent business operators around Australia continually face challenges to our sustainability but we continue to invest into our businesses, producing strong sales growth and world-class retailing results.

Seventy per cent of all Australian businesses are categorised as small and they play a significant part in the Australian economy. Last National Family Business Day, Kate Carnell, Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman, said, “The role family businesses play is an important one, as they employ more than 50 per cent of the Australian workforce.” Australian family businesses also account for over $4.3 trillion of the nation’s wealth.

Small businesses have the support of the Council of Small Business of Australia (COSBOA), of which MGA TMA is a member. COSBOA provides support to our members in the development of policies such as cyber security, accounting, single touch payroll from 1 July 2018, and the mental health of small business owners. These are all important to our members’ timber and hardware businesses.

MGA and TMA joined together in 2017, and since then have made significant progress. In 2018 we will become ‘partners for success’ with our members and industry stakeholders. We welcome the development of strong and enduring relationships within the Timber Industry, with an expansion of our support services and national membership.

As an employer organisation MGA TMA has more than 120 years of dedication to small businesses in the Timber and Hardware Industry. MGA TMA’s team provides members with vital, affordable and professional ‘back of house’ support services and protection against the predatory behaviour of big business. There is no conflict of interest at MGA TMA!

MGA TMA has recently yielded excellent cost savings for our members including the reduction on Company Tax for companies with a turnover of $50 million or less from 30 per cent to 27.5 per cent – soon to be 25 per cent; the reduction in Sunday Penalty Rates for retailers from 100 per cent to 50 per cent; the strengthening of Competition Laws and Unfair Contract terms and the preservation of current Family Trust laws and that’s just to name a few…

It is these kinds of results that will benefit our timber and hardware members, particularly disallowing big businesses to crowd out family businesses, and will help to reduce the costs of doing business.

MGA TMA has maintained productive working relationships with Federal and State Ministers and government departments, on behalf of members. Recently, MGA negotiated a five-year moratorium with the Queensland Palaszczuk government, that disallowed any further changes to retail trading hours in 21 Queensland regions. In Victoria, payroll tax for “country and regional” members has been reduced from 4.85 per cent to 3.65 per cent, with the payroll threshold increasing from $550K to $650K per annum.

Our advocacy objective is to reduce red tape and regulatory cost burdens and foster fair competition. This activity supports our timber and hardware members by saving money, enabling more confidence, investing savings back into their businesses, employing more people and supporting fair competition in a robust trading environment.

Recently, MGA TMA members visited Canberra and met with Federal Ministers to discuss issues such as crippling rising energy costs, reductions of company tax, access to justice, competition and most importantly, the shortage of local timber supply for the building industry.

Timber has a complex supply chain and our members play an integral part in every step of the journey to bring timber to the market. Lack of timber supply will have serious consequences for MGA TMA members. Lack of timber supply is a worldwide predicament and requires immediate Government initiatives to incentivise investments into timber plantations and the adoption of a sensible approach to harvesting native forests. MGA TMA intends to be deeply involved in these discussions.

MGA TMA’s team of dedicated ‘in house’ employment lawyers, offer members in all states and territories a full Legal and HR support service, seven days per week – simply FREE call 1800 888 479. We encourage MGA TMA members to call the Legal team to ensure your business is compliant with the law.

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Picture From left, MGA TMA’s Ron Caddy and Hugh Turner, Minister Josh Frydenberg with MGA TMA’s Peter Alexander (President MGA TMA Management Committee) and Jos de Bruin – (CEO MGA Independent Retailers TMA Timber Merchants Australia).