The region’s peak business organisation, the Illawarra Business Chamber, says that the NSW Budget handed down today contains welcome support for local small businesses and much-needed investment in transformative infrastructure to grow the regional economy.

It comes as the Illawarra’s economy is weathering one of the most challenging years in living memory due to the pandemic and related shutdowns, which followed devastating bushfires, drought and floods in the broader region.
 
Illawarra Business Chamber Executive Director Adam Zarth said that today’s budget responds to the specific calls made on behalf of businesses across the region and was rightly focused on supporting small businesses, delivering economic infrastructure and bringing unemployment back down to pre-COVID levels.
 
“It is great to have two key items that we have fought hard for at the centre of this budget; namely the upgrade of Picton Road and further payroll tax relief for businesses,” said Mr Zarth.
 
“This Budget will be well received by all those local business people and representatives that joined our Picton Road Motorway Coalition campaign because they believe our economic future lies in south-western Sydney and they rely on that road operationally.”
 
“Infrastructure investment is key to growing our way out of the downturn, and so it was important that our region did not miss out on the opportunity to be a part of the boom.”
 
“The announcement of $44 million to fund the business case for the upgrade of Picton Road is a welcome reward for our collective efforts on the campaign, however we are still seeking progress on the vital Mt Ousley Interchange upgrade and will continue to pursue it.”
 
“The government’s decision to further lift the payroll tax threshold means more small businesses across the Illawarra will be able to hire staff without being subjected to this handbrake on job creation.”
 
“They will also avoid the $10,000 that it costs on average in administration, which is in addition to the new, four-year payroll tax exemption for every new job created where a business has created at least 30 new net jobs.”
 
The Chamber also welcomed government’s ‘Out and About’ scheme, which will provide $100 worth of vouchers for adults to spend on food services and at cultural institutions in the new year.
 
“This stimulus is well directed to two sectors in desperate need of increased consumer spending, which we hope will build on a busy holiday season and encourage consumers to spend a little more and help sustain small businesses doing it tough,” said Mr Zarth

 
Media Contact: James Newton (0424 254 281)