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My parents came to Australia from Italy in 1966, their hardworking and selfless example has instilled in me a strong value of family, business and community service.
I grew up sitting in my father's workshop, marvelling at his ability to create a masterpiece from raw timber, and it was the passion he had for his craft that led me to follow his footsteps.
Running the family business in Queanbeyan for 20 years, gave me a first-hand experience of the problems confronting small businesses. I've lived the daily pressures of owning a business.
Those treasured childhood memories watching my father at work remain as vivid today as they were over 40 years ago. It was his endeavours and work ethic that gave me a deep appreciation for small business and the strong foundation that I continue to build on today
It's important we look after our small businesses; they are the friendly faces at the local café, the dry cleaner, and the bakery. They keep communities strong and support local schools and charities. They are brave, they work hard, and they invest their livelihoods in making sure these businesses work.
The NSW economy is now humming but we cannot simply rely on the housing market and infrastructure growth to kick us along. We have to diversify, innovate and adapt. This is where small businesses can fill the void and significantly contribute to expanding our economy.
The NSW Government established the Office of the NSW Small Business Commissioner to help small businesses across NSW. It offers access to support at every stage of the business cycle, from start-up to succession planning and every step in between, including straightening out complex matters that could leave small business operators feeling isolated.
The Office and Commissioner Robyn Hobbs work tirelessly to support the small business sector. I encourage small businesses to take advantage of the services that are on offer in NSW because together we can give the engine room of the NSW economy a real chance to shine.
The Hon. John Barilaro MP