Business as usual around big projects

The Marshall Government has developed and released a Small Business Engagement policy to better protect small businesses adversely affected during the construction of infrastructure projects.

Under the new policy, when a project is announced, the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure (DPTI) will actively engage with businesses and business owners to instigate relationships, provide a primary point of contact and to obtain information specific to the business.

Project teams may also be required to deliver a ‘business as usual’ message through advertising, communications and media campaigns to help promote small local businesses.

“The Marshall Government has developed a plan to help small businesses survive which may be adversely affected by the construction of big infrastructure projects,” Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Local Government Stephan Knoll said.

“Local and business communities largely accept that big infrastructure projects will cause a level of disruption to their trading and daily lives however more can be done to reduce the impact.

“Businesses are rightly frustrated when having to deal with the disruption caused by these projects and it can place business owners, workers and families under immense pressure and stress.

“The previous Labor Government completely dropped the ball on small business when it came to how they were affected by big projects.

“There are many examples of small businesses which were unable to survive because they didn’t receive adequate support and it is clear that more needs to be done.

“That’s why the Marshall Government is changing the way we engage the business community to minimise that disruption and give businesses an opportunity provide input at an early stage.

“There’ll be a focus on providing more advisory signage for small businesses, as well as possibly advertising, communications and media campaigns to get the word out that it’s business as usual.

“Importantly, DPTI will actively engage these small businesses when a project is announced – very early in the process.

“DPTI will work with potentially impacted business to understand their trading requirements.

“DPTI will also brief proponents bidding for the Project to ensure that they have a thorough understanding of the requirements of businesses.

“An independent Small Business Adviser may be provided on an as needs basis with the objective of assisting business owners to continue to trade during construction, with as little disruption as practicable, and suggest strategies for the business owners to implement.”