The New South Wales 2019 election campaign saw a focus on small and medium enterprises, as well as new incentives for private sector investment in renewables.
Additional funding has been announced for large-scale, on-demand clean energy projects in collaboration with the private sector via the Emerging Energy Program. Funding will increase from $55 million in 2019–20 to $75 million in 2020–21. The funding is part of the NSW Governments ‘renewable’ initiatives, designed to incentivise private investment in sustainable power solutions.
The NSW Government has further promised regulatory changes in support of its funding promises, to facilitate the installation of solar panels in apartments, batteries and other sustainable infrastructure. To date, the small-scale renewables sector has been the subject of criticism and accusations of poor practice and industry cowboys. Notwithstanding the ongoing concerns, these policies should make investment in renewables in the state more attractive.
Incentives for small and medium enterprises include:
Assistance package for small to medium size businesses
Following on from increases to payroll tax thresholds announced in the 2018-2019 NSW Budget, the Government has now proposed to reduce the workers compensation insurance premiums paid by businesses by $100 million per year ($300 million over the forward estimates). In a bid to encourage safe work practices, the changes are targeted at businesses with a safe work history.
The Government has also committed to amending its approach to procurement, requiring all NSW Government agencies to consider small business suppliers for everything that the agencies purchase.
These changes are intended to provide encouragement to small businesses in NSW.
New co-working start-up hub in Western Sydney
In a new initiative designed to support start-ups in Western Sydney, a government building in Parramatta North will be renovated into a co-working start-up hub, with subsidised affordable work spaces and programs to support new businesses. With operations proposed to commence on 1 July 2020, at least 1,500 m2 will be available to rent by start-ups and small businesses. The programs will be funded by the Department of Industry.
Consistent with the NSW Government’s ongoing focus and investment in Western Sydney, the start-up hub should provide improved opportunities for growth in the local economy. The efforts to facilitate and encourage new start-ups and SME’s are consistent with changes at the Commonwealth level, such as last year’s changes to allow crowd-sourced funding.
Source: Holding Redlich