Newspaper article News Mail Bundaberg Qld.

'Red Tape' Hurts Small Business; Hair Salon Boss Raises Concerns about System

Newspaper article News Mail Bundaberg Qld.

'Red Tape' Hurts Small Business; Hair Salon Boss Raises Concerns about System

Article excerpt

Byline: Katie Hall katie.hall@news-mail.com.au

LOCAL businesses facing issues with accessing government funding are worried they won't be able to grow because of complicated application processes.

Kepnock Hair owner Geri Sayre has lived and worked in Bundaberg for 17 years and has always employed local women to complete their apprenticeships at her hair salon.

After years of being able to access government funding to support her business while training an apprentice - Ms Sayre says she is now weighed down with the complications she has faced since attempting to apply for a Back to Work grant last year.

"I tried applying for an incentive when recruiting new staff and it was a nightmare," Ms Sayre said.

"Last year I put on a young girl in September and October to do a full time apprenticeship and was hoping to access funding through the state government.

Ms Sayre applied for funding and found she was continuously "kicked off" the system as she was trying to apply.

"I thought 'I'll try again tomorrow'- and went through that system about five times," she said.

"Eventually I would get past each step but it would say 'you're not eligible', yet I had been previously registered.

"And once you're 'ineligible' that is it - it (the system) sort of closes it - and the only time you can get back on is if you put on a new person."

Despite not being able to access the funding, Ms Sayre kept the apprentice on.

"I'm at the stage where I'm needing to put another person on, but without that extra bit of help for that first year ... I'm very reluctant to go down that funding path again, simply because it was a waste of time and you can't access the funds easily," she said.

She says the funding is important, especially for small businesses, to support the day-to-day costs of running the business after paying rent, wages and power bills. …

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