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The end of financial year can mean different things for different business owners. For many it is an opportunity to tidy up loose ends and make a fresh start to the new year. Although the annual tax return lodgement deadlines are typically not for a few months, this is still an ideal time of year to scan through a good checklist – like the ATO’s new small business toolkit for 2022 that we have featured below.

Experiencing the journey alongside many of the small business tenants of the now closed Toombul Shopping Centre has reminded me just how beneficial it is to have someone help cut through the noise and direct you to the right information and options. It hasn’t been an easy time. If you, or a business you know is struggling to bounce back from the flood event, or more generally – please encourage them to reach out to us. There are support options available, but if you don’t know about it, you won’t know to access it.

This month we have seen a record level of diverse and complex enquiries and disputes coming through our door. Finances are tight and tensions are high. We have referred over 600 disputes to our panel of mediators in the past 2 years. It was a real treat this month to sit down for a chat with one of our mediators. His advice about successfully resolving problems and disputes made so much sense, I wanted to share it with you. He says that for every kind of dispute or problem, there are only 3 ways out:

  • fight it out
  • bury it, or
  • communicate it out

Our informal dispute assistance and mediation is the third option, ‘communicating it out’, and you don’t need me to tell you how much time, money and stress taking that approach is going to save in the long run. However, communicating well can be hard – we get it! The Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman has posted a helpful ‘understanding my dispute’ checklist. We like it a lot because it helps focus on the actual issue, consider what is important and what you need to achieve to move on. It is worth testing out for yourself.

June 27 was international Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises Day (MSME Day). What a great reminder to stop and thank a hard-working small business owner for the fabulous service they provide and the value they bring to the economy and our lives. This year I had some fun contributing to a video compilation by the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman, and gave a shout out to all 33 of Queensland’s Small Business Friendly councils and their efforts to make it easier for business to get on with the business they love doing.

Maree Adshead
Queensland Small Business Commissioner