‘I’d like to see governments take more interest in what businesses are telling them.’
Chance Hanlon is excited by what his business could do if the new government, whichever one it is, reduced red tape, improved road infrastructure and eased restrictions on business in general. He is taking part in the Small Business Too Big to Ignore campaign to send a message to the political parties that change is needed in how small to medium sized businesses are treated. The campaign targets red tape, tax, employment and infrastructure and offers a chance for local businesses to send a united message to the government in the lead-up to the election.
Hanlon Windows human resources manager has so much paperwork he has two staff helping him. “Human resources has become a large overhead. It is a big animal and it’s expensive,” Mr Hanlon said. “It’s frustrating because I’ve seen this business run fine before all the red tape and paperwork meant HR became a position I needed.” Mr Hanlon said red tape added new costs to his operation that he would prefer to invest in growth and more local jobs. Changes in manufacturing standards also add an ever-increasing layer of costs to the business. “The standards we have to meet are always increasing. Take the bushfire standards which resulted in us having to use different glass seals and special flyscreens,” he said.
“Those changes were introduced with no consultation. “I’d like to see governments take more interest in what businesses are telling them. “I would also like to see the government reduce the amount of red tape that filters down to councils. “Freeing up land for development and helping local councils get more major development under way would be a great help to our business growth.”
He said another area where there was room for improvement was the expense of hiring employees. “For every salesperson I hire I put on three people in manufacturing jobs.
“There has been a lot of talk in support of small business but I have seen very little action.”
Mr Hanlon said his business growth and successes were due to the investment in the local region and investment in Australian products. “We employ local people, use local suppliers and encourage the community to buy from a local manufacturer.” He said if there was less regulation, his and other businesses would be more productive.
“If the government kept costs down, it would make our services more affordable and probably result in us employing more staff. “Everything we use to provide windows and doors is made in Australia. We are a privately owned, family operated business competing with multinationals.
“We are not importing cheap components from China, so when you spend money with us a lot of it is guaranteed to stay local. That money is protecting local jobs, sponsoring local sporting teams and local events.”