WA government to streamline approvals processes for small business

Western Australian Small Business minister Paul Papalia has announced the first three local government authorities chosen to undertake a new program to streamline approvals processes for small businesses.

The Small Business Friendly Approvals Program will make it easier for small businesses to operate in Western Australia by smoothing the process of accessing permits and licences from local government authorities.

The program is ultimately designed to make it easier to start, operate and grow a business in WA by saving businesses time and money when interacting with local government authorities.

The cities of Melville, Rockingham and Wanneroo are the first group of councils selected to take part in the program.

“The launch of the Small Business Development Corporation’s approvals program is an important expansion of the work the agency has already undertaken with the local government sector through its Small Business Friendly Local Governments initiative, which has successfully run since 2017,” Papalia said.

“I congratulate the cities of Melville, Rockingham and Wanneroo on their selection in this important new initiative, and look forward to seeing the benefits it delivers for their local businesses.”

The Small Business Development Corporation (SBDC)-led program is funded by the McGowan Government via Streamline WA – as part of a focus on accelerating regulatory reform to support economic recovery in response to COVID-19.

The cities of Canning and Stirling successfully piloted the program with the SBDC in late 2019, identifying reform initiatives that could reduce approval timeframes for development applications by over 30 days, resulting in significant time and cost savings for small business.

City of Melville Mayor Hon. George Gear JP said the council had worked with local businesses to improve online information approvals and ensure transformational change.

“We want to make it easy for businesses to do business with us and we thank the State Government for its commitment and support to our small business community,” he said.

City of Wanneroo Mayor Tracey Roberts said significant benefits include allowing local residents to work closer to home.

“Small businesses are the backbone of our community, with 13,000 local businesses providing more than 54,000 local jobs,” she said.

“A 2020 City survey of local businesses identified reducing red tape as key to their post COVID-19 economic recovery. By participating in the SBDC Approvals Program, we are directly responding to the needs of our business community.

“Through streamlining processes and reducing red tape, the program will not only benefit our existing local business community, but will make it easier for new businesses to establish themselves in Wanneroo, supporting innovation, investment and job creation in the City.”

Seventeen more Western Australian local governments will participate in the Small Business Friendly Approvals Program by the end of 2022.