Weekend Sun column
Small and medium-sized businesses are the backbone of our communities with 97 per cent of all New Zealand enterprises employing 20 or fewer people.
National knows it is businesses that drive economic growth and build a more successful economy with more jobs and higher wages for Kiwis.
That's why since coming into office the National-led Government has been focused on supporting a competitive and productive economy. It's why we are continuously searching out ways to reduce the financial and time burdens that small businesses face.
For example, we have cut ACC levies, introduced 90-day trials and a starting-out wage, and funded the rollout of faster broadband. We've set up free online tools and advice from across government to save you time and help make your business a success. And in Budget 2016 we introduced a Small and medium-sized enterprise-friendly tax package.
We're responsibly managing the Government's books and have posted the second surplus in a row. New Zealand is now just one of a very small group of countries that has the books in surplus and a growing economy. Our policies are helping keep the cost of living low and interest rates at near record lows, making it easier for small businesses to invest and employ more people.
New Zealand now tops the World Bank rankings for ease of doing business. The number one ranking highlights the good work this Government is doing to reduce the cost of doing business. The World Bank report also notes NZ's strength in procurement through our online procurement process and that we have made paying taxes easier and cheaper.
As the MP for Tauranga, I always enjoy meeting with small businesses across the region and hearing how NZ's strong economy is continuing to help them grow. It was especially great to see first-hand, the success stories of various businesses in the Bay at the Tauranga Business Awards in October. I continue to be impressed by the success of small businesses in our region.
Thanks to the entrepreneurship and hard work of the people of the Bay, supported by the Government's economic plan and responsible financial management, our regional economy continues to grow with more jobs and rising wages as a result of the economic management of this Government.