VACC Executive Director Says More Government Intervention will Help Small Businesses Survive

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MELBOURNE – Marc 21, 2013: VACC Executive Director, David Purchase, used his speech at the VACC President’s Dinner last night in Melbourne, to tell black tie guests that he does not subscribe to the mantra that the market place should always decide. He said today’s market place was controlled by a handful of big businesses that ‘squeezed their small business suppliers, requiring them to do more and more for less and less’.

VACC has represented small businesses in the retail, service and repair sector of the Australian automotive industry for more 95 years. With more than 5,300 small business members, VACC is the peak automotive industry body and the largest employer of automotive apprentices in Victoria and Tasmania. VACC campaigns on behalf of small business owners and is concerned that big businesses are increasingly treating small businesses unfairly and, in some cases, unconscionably.

Two million small businesses employ nearly five million Australians. Ninety five per cent of all businesses are small businesses, each employing less than 20 employees.

“If we don’t want to lose these employment opportunities, if we want to retain our strip shopping centres, if we want to prevent the unnecessary demise of many of our small businesses, what should we do?” Mr Purchase said.

“I think that responsible market intervention by Governments is the only way many otherwise small businesses will survive and retention of employment opportunities and other social benefits achieved,” said Mr Purchase.

Mr Purchase highlighted two examples, past and present, of positive and effective government intervention, namely, the Fraser Government’s Petroleum Retail Marketing Sites Act 1980 and the 5th Community Pharmacy Agreement between the Federal Government and the Pharmacy Guild of Australia.

“There is no way Governments are going to be able to reverse the fortunes of small businesses if they don’t value and recognise their contribution to the economy,” Mr Purchase said.

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