Queensland small businesses have named their top 10 election issues ahead of the 31 January battle at the polls.

Queensland small businesses are set to head into the January 31 State Election most concerned about the cost of energy, the lack of economic activity and Government regulation.

The Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland (CCIQ) have released the findings of an exclusive survey of more than 1100 small businesses across the state, a survey which has highlighted key issues ahead of the upcoming poll. Nine out of every 10 small businesses complained that soaring electricity costs was the single most significant issue that had to be addressed by the next Queensland Government.

CCIQ General Manager of Advocacy Nick Behrens said the upcoming election would not only determine the next Premier and Government, but also the course of the state’s economy and business conditions over the next three years.

“CCIQ is determined that the issues of concern and importance for Queensland small businesses stay at the forefront of the State Election policy debate over the next 22 days,” Mr Behrens said.

The CCIQ Election Survey was conducted throughout December, with more than 1100 small businesses having their say on issues of concern and importance ahead of the January election.

“CCIQ conducted the survey to determine priority issues for small business on key election issues, such as fiscal and economic management, business costs, red tape, productivity, innovation and entrepreneurship in Queensland,” Mr Behrens said.

The top 10 election issues for Queensland small businesses were:

  •  Cost of energy
  •  Level of economic activity and demand
  •  Efficiency of State Government service delivery
  •  Overall complexity of the State tax system
  •  Cost of telecommunications
  •  Level of State Government debt
  •  State Government budget deficit
  •  Recruiting employees with appropriate skills
  •  Unemployment
  •  Cost of transport

“When asked about the current economic situation, 85 per cent of small businesses raised concern about the current level of economic activity and demand,” Mr Behrens said. “Labour market conditions are also a prominent factor with 71 per cent of Queensland small businesses indicating concern at the present time with unemployment.

“A significant proportion of Queensland small businesses expressed concern with the current budget deficit (73 per cent) and the level of State Government debt (75 per cent). The proportion of small businesses highlighting concern on payroll tax was relatively modest and confirms the fact that it is not paid by small business. But, at the same, it highlights the importance of indexing its exemption threshold.”

Mr Behrens said electricity prices, which have risen dramatically over the past decade and hit small business hard, was the outstanding concern with 86 per cent of Queensland businesses worried by the cost of energy.

“Regulation continues to bite small business, with the overall complexity of the state tax system and workplace health and safety regulation all continuing to be major thorns in the side of business,” he said.

CCIQ’s Election Survey also revealed that a significant proportion of Queensland small businesses approved (36 per cent) or strongly approved (21 per cent) of the Strong Choices proposal to lease assets.

“The survey also raised the importance of enhancing productivity, investing in innovation and promoting entrepreneurship,” Mr Behrens said. “It is essential that while we address issues of concern we also cast an eye to the future.

“Queensland small businesses are looking to politicians for genuine vision in these areas as well.”

Mr Behrens said CCIQ would use the results from the survey to encourage the major political parties to create the optimal environment in Queensland for business to grow and employ.

 What issues matter to you at the election? What can the candidates do to win your vote? Let us know in the comments below!