The trials of the past year illuminated the critical role SMEs play in our economy and society. As Gavin Lennox writes, the budget is the perfect opportunity for the government to give them the resources to compete in an increasingly innovative world.
Every week our team at The Icehouse works with small-to-medium business owners to expand their knowledge and expertise and grow their businesses. We know that journey is complex and multifaceted, but it’s critical in a country like New Zealand, where more than 96% of all businesses have less than 20 staff.
During the 2020 lockdowns, small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) were particularly hard hit. The government played its part, along with service providers, to soften the blow. But now is the time to leverage New Zealand’s well-managed Covid-19 response to accelerate the growth in 2021. Our international competitors, like Australia, are already pushing hard.
The government plays an important support role to small businesses, and the upcoming budget provides a great opportunity to consider what it can do to support SMEs continue to recover. There are three critical areas that deserve greater government action.
1. Expand the Regional Business Partner programme
Over the years, we have worked with New Zealand business leaders who demonstrate qualities that are best summed up by the term “dynamic capabilities” – that is, they can identify areas of competitive advantage and then seize opportunities by…