THE Star asked three experienced business operators what they would like the next federal government to do to help small business.
Gerry Genio from Gerry's Tailoring, St Marys (main picture)
"Competition is a beautiful thing, but there's got to be a limit on it. "One of the biggest problems for small businesses is rent. A place the size of mine would cost $4000 a week in a big shopping centre.
"I've been here in Queen Street for 36 years and if I wanted to sell my business, I'd get nothing.
"Any government that can do something to help the little people who run small businesses is a job well done.
"I'd like to to see less taxes and penalty rates removed.
"I would love the government to get rid of the GST — it's the biggest pain in the backside."
Annette Blissett, co-owner of Giggles Fancy Dress Hire, St Marys
"Simplifying the tax system should be the number one priority. "There is no help whatsoever for small businesses out there struggling. If there is, we don't know about it. Less red tape would help.
"My advice to the new government is to listen to the community, take it on board and then take the stuff away you don't think is suitable.
"We don't qualify for any government benefits for the kids because we've got assets.
"We're classed as asset rich but we're cash poor. All we can do is keep battling on."
David Trist, Dunheved Business Park committee member
"Small businesses should look after themselves. The government shouldn't necessarily help them.
"The many business I've worked in haven't needed government help.
"You need to have a certain amount of red tape and regulation to ensure compliance with the law, and the public don't get ripped off.
"I'd like to see the government ensure the tax rate is as low as possible.
"My advice would be to not interfere with the operation of businesses but have a bit of oversight to ensure the public aren't being ripped off. The majority of small businesses don't last long.
"It doesn't provide a good economy if businesses receive subsidies.
"I don't agree with Labor's promises to subsidise the car industry.
"If these businesses can't operate without subsidies, they should close their doors."