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November Business Newsletter

Dear Mackellar business,

Inside the November Mackellar business newsletter:
• Free AI Marketing for Small Business Training - November 28th.
• Practical and easy tools for grants applications, rebates and incentives.
• Update on proposed workplace relations reforms and how they may impact your business.
• Small business, Big Heart - a local business giving back to the community.

Dr Sophie

Harness the power of AI, enhance your marketing

AI is a powerful tool that can be harnessed to enhance your business marketing making it better and easier. I am delighted to host the small business community at the Mackellar electorate office for a free workshop to learn how to use the emerging powerful tools of AI.

The workshop is developed and presented by Realise Business - Digital Solutions, the Australian Small Business Advisory Service. You will learn how AI-powered tools can save you time, boost creativity, and enhance your online impact!
Whether you're a seasoned entrepreneur or just starting, this workshop is one not to be missed.

Tuesday 28th November, 6.30-8.30pm

Mackellar Electorate Office
Shops 1&2/1238-1246 Pittwater Rd
Narrabeen NSW 2101

Space is limited so book now! 

Simple steps to find and apply for grants

October was Small Business Month in NSW. Small business is such a large and vital part of Mackellar’s economy. In support of this fundamental part of our community, my office held the first Small Business Grant Application Seminar presented by our Business Engagement Coordinator, Sonia Powell.

Through the seminar, business owners gained insights into available grants and upskilled in grant application writing.

If you missed the seminar, it is now available online along with the supporting checklists and tools - click here.

To access the many grants, incentives, rebates and more available to businesses, large, small & sole traders please sign up to the Mackellar Grant Finder.

Invest in clean energy - ease the cost of living crisis

There’s no doubt cost-of-living is one of the toughest issues facing Australians today. Governments such as the US, UK, EU and Canada are taking bold steps to simultaneously tackle both the cost-of-living crisis and the great existential crisis of our times, climate change. I introduced a motion in Parliament urging the Australian Government to do the same.

The United States’ Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) has attracted well over a trillion dollars in private investment. It subsidises the electrification of households and businesses so more people benefit from cheaper clean energy.

The IRA will also take advantage of the ongoing global energy transition by investing heavily in high tech manufacturing and innovation in the clean tech sector. This ensures that the US becomes a world leader in the industries and jobs of the future.

I am urging the Australian Government to follow suit as so many of our major trading partners already have done.

If the pandemic and the war in Ukraine taught us anything, it is that we need to invest in and build our local capacity to manufacture and value add onshore.

If we don’t act now to diversify and future proof our economy thereby benefiting from the clean energy sector, we will simply be left behind. Urging the Australian Government to respond to the US’s IRA will be a top priority for me in the year ahead.

View my speech here.

Proposed Industrial Relations Laws – Will they impact you?

The Federal Government is working to introduce amendments to workplace relations legislation. The amendments which are likely to have the biggest impact are:

Same job, same pay
The Government is proposing that labour hire workers should be paid the same as directly engaged employees doing the same work. Some businesses have voiced a concern that the changes will adversely impact sub-contracting relationships.

Casuals’ conversion to permanent
Proposed changes will allow casual employees to proactively seek permanent status after twelve months with employers only able to refuse on reasonable grounds.

Employee-like, gig economy regulations
Changes will give the Fair Work Commission power to set minimum protections for workers in ‘employee like’ forms of work (gig workers). The Government says the changes aim to set minimum working standards that reflect workers’ independence and desire for flexibility, while mitigating unintended consequences for workers and businesses. Criminalising wage theft.The Government is proposing to make intentional wage theft a crime and to increase fines for this.

Stronger protections against discrimination
The purpose of this reform is to bring Fair Work Australia’s anti-discrimination laws into alignment with other discrimination laws.

The process around these changes involves the first vote, likely in November, by me and my colleagues in the House of Representatives. The reforms will then move to the Senate, which may hold an inquiry. Inevitably significant changes are made to the legislation before it comes back the lower house for me to vote on it in its amended form.

I raise this because I want to assure you that my first vote on this legislation will not be my last. My vote on each occasion may differ.

I also want to point out the difficulties involved in being asked to vote on a large number of changes in one block. With this legislation, the Government is trying to introduce many and varied reforms – some I may agree with, some I may not. Regardless, I will be required to vote on the overall package.

I have, and will continue to, consult extensively with the business community of Mackellar about the detail and the impact of the proposed changes. In doing so, my key concern has been to ensure that the interests of small business are protected. Many are doing it so tough at the moment. Of course this needs to be fairly balanced against the interests of vulnerable workers.

Any additional burden in the form of workplace law reform needs to be carefully considered against this backdrop; changes must help, not further hinder, our struggling businesses.

My main concern is what I can do to limit negative impacts on small business and in particular local trades and construction businesses. Having consulted with Minister Burke he has listened to my concerns. It was pleasing to see the final form of his legislation amended to reflect some of the issues I raised.

I urge you please write and share with me your views on how the changes proposed may impact you. For more details on the proposed IR reform please read here.

Small business, Big heart

I visited the Freshwater Farm soap factory in Cromer for the presentation of their $50,000 donation to the Indigenous Literacy Foundation (ILF).

Freshwater Farm is a wonderful example of a local family business with a big heart. Freshwater Farm collaborated with local Worimi artist Brittney Paulson to design a limited-edition soap range, all to raise money for this important cause.

ILF is a national grassroots charity that partners with remote indigenous communities across Australia to improve the literacy rates in a way that suits each individual community.

Is your business giving back or helping the community? Please share your business acts of kindness with my office we'd love to hear from you!

Here to Help

As your Independent Member of Parliament, I am accountable to you, the community. It’s crucial that I hear from you so I can raise your concerns when I am in Parliament. I will:
• Listening to your needs on issues that matter to you
• Seeking your input on legislation that impacts you
• Raising issues in Parliament
• Voting for initiatives that support you and your business
• Working with the Government to develop the policy that supports business.

Get in touch
My team and I are here to help.  Please contact me on [email protected] call 9913 9566 or via my socials - Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Authorised by Dr Sophie Scamps, Independent MP for Mackellar

Shops 1&2 1238-1246 Pittwater Rd Narrabeen 2101
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