Small business success drives South Australia’s new economy

28 November

South Australia’s transition to a new economy is accelerating backed by the success of its $35 billion small business sector and one of the nation’s best trend unemployment rates of 5.6 per cent.

Releasing the 2017 Annual Small Business Statement and announcing the new Excellence in Business Fund at a 400-strong industry breakfast this morning, Small Business Minister Martin Hamilton-Smith said the sector could give itself a pat on the back for its contribution to the economy.

The partnerships between business and government were further underlined with the release today of tailored action plans for small business associations. These plans have been released after consultation during the year with 53 industry associations.

Pointing to predictions four years ago that the state’s 140,000 small businesses were staring down the barrel of economic disaster owing to the Holden closure, the Minister said the facts of today overshadowed the doomsayers of yesterday

The forecast was for double digit unemployment, the collapse of manufacturing and an exit of almost every automotive component supplier. Fast-forward four years and last week’s ANZ Bank Stateometer ranks our State economy as “growing above trend and accelerating”.

The small business sector, working closely with the State Government helped achieve this result. Furthermore, in the past 18 months 24 new investment projects have been secured by Investment Attraction South Australia (IASA). These projects will create 7085 jobs for South Australians – seven times the number of jobs that went with Holden.

The new Excellence in Business Fund will provide SMEs grants of up to $50,000 for capability building programs to increase competitiveness, access new export and local markets, expand operations and grow jobs.

A new website also went live this morning and provides information about support, funding and initiatives available to small businesses. For more information about the Excellence in Business Fund, and other support available for small businesses, visit:

The the 2017 Annual Small Business Statement highlights actions and results that the State Government has achieved in supporting small businesses to compete, grow, and create jobs since the inaugural Statement was released in December 2016. Read the 2017 Annual Small Business Statement.

“The State Government is committed to supporting small businesses to access new markets, grow and create sustainable jobs. We have worked hard to create an environment where it’s easy to do business in South Australia, and the success of our small businesses is evidence our strategy is working,” Mr. Hamilton-Smith said.

“We have cut red tape and introduced the most comprehensive tax reforms this State has ever seen, to provide a business environment that is competitive and cost-effective. These initiatives, and more, are paying dividends for our State, with the new South Australian businesses survival rate at 57.2 per cent – the highest in Australia.”