Following Tuesday's announcement, Business NSW regional manager Vicki Seccombe said the federal government has delivered a budget that supports a business-led economic recovery from the depths of the COVID-19 pandemic.
With small businesses, parents and aged care among the biggest winners from national treasurer Josh Frydenberg's budget, Ms Seccombe said the support of job creation and infrastructure spending will benefit the Central West.
She pointed, particularly, to measures designed to 'make it easier for small business owners to keep their doors open' along with tax cuts for low and middle income workers as promising developments.
This is a budget for the times we are living in - recognising the recent difficulties, but full of optimism.Business NSW regional manager Vicki Seccombe
"This is a budget for the times we are living in - recognising the recent difficulties, but full of optimism that the next few years will be more prosperous through job creation and infrastructure spending," she said.
"Overall, this budget supports jobs and will help business owners lead our economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic (and) continue to drive the economic prosperity.
"It's pleasing to see meaningful measures that business owners have embraced be extended including the instant asset write-off scheme ... while the small business loan scheme has been extended as has the temporary loss carry back scheme.
"These are important measures that will have a big impact. Small business owners have also been provided some relief from tax office debt recovery actions with new powers for the independent umpire to pause the process.
"Tax cuts ... will also put more money in the pockets of workers, allowing them to support local businesses. If the past 12 months taught us anything it's the importance of business, particularly small business to be able to work flexibly and in response to the ever-changing conditions."
With multi-million investments, small businesses are also being supported to adopt digital technologies and take up e-invoicing, while the huge infrastructure spend supports a number of key initiatives supported by Business NSW and local Chambers of Commerce.
"In particular, we are pleased to finally see a commitment to ensuring Western NSW's access across the Blue Mountains with $2 billion towards improvements and expansion of the Great Western Highway," Ms Seccombe said.
The issue though, with skilled migration limited by border closures, is the capacity of the workforce to carry out such work within timeframes set down. Skills shortages in general continue to be an issue across the region too.
"Skilling the workforce should remain at the forefront of government action and is something we continue to advocate for," Ms Seccombe said, with measures put in place to do so as part of the budget.
"The government is providing an additional 5,000 Commonwealth-supported short-course places at non-university higher education providers (and) doubling its commitment to the JobTrainer fund.
"[That will] will support 450,000 new training places ... at the same time creating 170,000 new apprenticeships and traineeships.
"Part of this program will see training support for 5,000 places to assist women break into non-traditional trades, an initiative that is long overdue.
"In addition, new grants being offered to workers to take up agricultural jobs - up to $2,000 in relocation assistance after two weeks of work, and up to $6,000 after four weeks, is welcomed."
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