Small businesses take a stand


Small businesses take a stand

MELBOURNE — The Alternative Small Business Association has been set up by a group of small business people who were sick of the right-wing diatribes of former Small Business Association leader Peter Boyle (not to be confused with the Green Left correspondent of the same name). The Small Business Association is in the hands of a receiver because of internal disputes.

Founding member Joe Fusca — who runs a gardening business — says hearing Boyle's remarks during the March federal elections that all workers are beggars gave him the motivation to start the new association.

"As someone with a small business, I was sick of being tarred with Peter Boyle's brush. Small business people are not all anti-union. They do not all believe in small government that doesn't provide any services. They are not all just out to get rich quick", said Fusca.

"The fact is that people who have small businesses are very varied in their political views and lifestyles — every bit as much as the rest of the community."

Fusca says he resents his "taxes being used to pay for weapons, but I don't have any problem with them being used for the good things governments do. We too use services like maternal and child health centres, Medicare, state schools and public transport. We too rely on the safety net of social security being there when things go wrong — perhaps even more than people on salary, because our incomes are that much more precarious.

"In a small business, the line between employer and worker is more easily blurred. We know we all depend on the survival of the business. And we know the personal cost of creating impossible working conditions or paying starvation wages.

"There also needs to be a voice for small business people who support the award system and fair working conditions, who support the environment, who believe

that quality of life is more important than profit."

The Alternative Small Business Association will be holding a series of talks on issues such as ethical banking, green jobs and abolishing state governments. For more information contact: Joe Fusca or Claire Corbet, (03) 354 1613.