Friday, 20 June 2014

Emerging exporters still lifting their game

In 2013 local company QuintessenceLabs’ profile was lifted after being crowned the Emerging Exporter at the 2013 ACT Chief Minister’s Export Awards.

The company specialises in next generation security solutions and has continued to enhance its product and service offering by speaking directly with customers and prospects.

QuintessenceLabs CEO, Vikram Sharma, says that the award was motivation for the company to take-on larger international markets and customers.

“Winning the Emerging Export Award was recognition of the hard work the talented team at QuintessenceLabs puts in to secure long term and sustained international business,” Dr Sharma said.

“It was a proud example of our projected success into the future.”

Since winning the award in 2013, Quintessence has remained focussed on building a business to be successful on the world stage.

“It is possible to do business anywhere in the world, but Canberra presents a unique combination of attributes that makes it a truly great place to do business,” Sharma continued.

“Every year of our journey has been exciting and 2014 is proving to be the most exciting yet.”

The 2014 ACT Chief Minister’s Export Awards will be held on 14 October at the Hyatt Hotel and will continue to play a key role in recognising the excellence and brilliant possibilities of the local exporting industry.

Will your business have success like QuintessenceLabs? Nominations for the 2014 ACT Chief Minister’s Export Awards are currently open and close on 1 September 2014.

For more information or to apply for the awards visit the ACT Chief Minister’s Export Awards website.

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

ACT Budget 2014-15: Investing in Canberra

On 3 June 2014, ACT Treasurer Andrew Barr handed down the 2014-15 ACT Budget, a budget about investing in Canberra to maintain growth in our economy and support local jobs.

This includes $2.5 billion investment over four years in a capital program - the largest ever by an ACT Government – which will help progress transformational projects such as Capital Metro, Australia Forum, City to the Lake and new court facilities. It also includes investment in the tourism and events, education, health and community sectors.

The ACT Government recognises local businesses as the lifeblood of the economy and it is hoped these investments will deliver the transformative infrastructure needed to support businesses for the long term. As part of the budget there is also a range of new and continuing initiatives aimed specifically at helping businesses to grow and create jobs.

This includes the acceleration of payroll tax reform which will see the threshold rise from $1.75 million to $1.85 million in 2014-15. For businesses with a payroll of $2 million this will mean a saving of $6,850 per year.

Combined with the 2012 payroll tax cuts, this means Canberra businesses, on average, are each paying $25,000 less payroll tax annually than before the reforms.

In his Budget speech, Minister Barr said “Businesses in Canberra continue to benefit from our tax reform agenda. Stamp duty continues to come down and insurance taxes will be fully abolished in 2016.”

The ACT Government recognises the burden government regulation imposes on business and so this Budget brings red tape reduction to the fore, with specific actions right across government.

During 2014-15, the ACT Government will set up a new forum to give business a direct voice in regulatory reform prioritisation.

Businesses will also be able to interact with government easier, with funding commencing for the digital project, iConnect. When fully developed, iConnect will give access to many government services and payment transactions through a single sign on.

As part of its commitment to making Canberra a digital city, the ACT Government will also introduce electronic tendering which will modernise the process for businesses seeking to work with the Government and reduce the administrative burden on small business.

The 2014-15 ACT Budget also provides continuing support for Canberra’s entrepreneurs.

To help those affected by Commonwealth Government job cuts stay in Canberra and build a new future, a specially tailored program will be implemented to provide them with support to start their own business.

Young entrepreneurs will also benefit from the budget through the new Young Business Connect program. The $300,000 program will provide assistance to young entrepreneurs, helping them to develop their ideas and establish new local businesses. This will include business planning and market development advice, connections to specialist advisors and business mentors and assistance in attracting start up funding.

The recently announced CBR Innovation Network, which will provide a more joined up approach to the delivery business services and advice, will have an important role to play in shaping the delivery arrangements for these new programs.

ACT businesses are the heart of our economy and community and this package of measures aims to invest in our city and our economy in partnership with the business community.

View the full ACT Budget 2014-15 External Link - opens in new window.

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Free Wi-fi provider announced


Creating a leading digital city. That’s the ultimate goal of the ACT Government’s Digital Canberra Action Plan External Link - opens in new window, unveiled by Chief Minister Katy Gallagher MLA earlier this year.

One of the major priorities within the action plan is the implementation of free Wi-Fi in Canberra, commencing in Civic and later rolling out to other town centres and commercial precincts. Last week, the Chief Minister took the next step in achieving this goal, announcing iiNet as the successful supplier to provide the Wi-fi which will be available in Civic from October this year.

iiNet has delivered a free public network in Adelaide that is used by 200,000 people each month and has up to 500 people connected during peak periods.

Once available, Canberrans will be able to download up to 100 megabytes per day of data. When complete, the Territory’s network will be the largest free outdoor public network in Australia.

Read more about in the Canberra Times article, ‘Free Wi-Fi for Canberrans to come to Civic in October’ External Link - opens in new window.

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Business Connect June Issue


Screenshot of Business Connect Newsletter

The June issue of our Business Connect Newsletter is now available:

In this issue:
  • Canberra duo inducted into to the EY Entrepreneur of the Year Global Hall of Fame
  • Bionic Eye trialled in Canberra
  • Start-Up Camp helps Canberra find its inner entrepreneur
  • Australian incubator recognised as best in world
  • Innovation, Trade and Investment branch

View the Business Connect June Newsletter
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