THE federal government has unveiled its latest plan to support small businesses with a significant amendment to the Commonwealth Procurement Rules (CPRs) which will now see small and medium sized businesses able to benefit from government spending contracts.
The amendments to the CPRs form part of Labor's election promise to ensure manufacturing remains in the country.
With the new regulations, 20 per cent of CPRs must now be sourced from small to medium enterprises.
Federal Member for Bendigo Lisa Chesters, said it's great news for central Victorian businesses.
"These changes to the CPRs will open the door to more opportunities for small and medium sized businesses in our region to participate in applying for Commonwealth contracts," she said.
"It will also help small and medium businesses grow and ultimately employ more staff.
"Small businesses, like many here in central Victoria, shouldn't be locked out from opportunities to gain government contracts just because they might not have the leverage of bigger businesses."
In addition to supporting small businesses, the new CPR rules also require officials to consider a procurement's broader impact on climate change when undertaking this value for money assessment.
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Be.Bendigo advocacy lead Rob Stephenson said the new environmental focus of the CPRs is key to ensuring the long term survival of modern businesses.
"I think that lowering emissions is key to our businesses thriving in the future," he said.
"I think those businesses that get on board sooner rather than later are the ones that will benefit the most."
Despite rising costs, a survey conducted by the Be.Bendigo recently found local business were most concerned about staff and skills shortages.
"Two of the biggest concerns were the short term disruptions to COVID in terms of staff availability, and skill shortages," Mr Stephenson said.
"Interestingly, inflationary pressures were ranked about four or five in that survey."
While small businesses will still have to meet a 25 per cent indemnity fee to jump on the board the government contracts, Mr Stephenson said tough calls are part of owning a business.
"Businesses will continue to make their decisions to support their viability in the future," he said.
"With current inflationary pressure there are definitely challenges, but a lot of businesses are already looking forward as to how they can adapt and cope with some of those changes."
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