When will they recognise us in home business?

Everyone is ignoring home businesses – it seems that no matter who you vote for, the “government” always gets in.

When will they recognise us in home business?

Jane Shelton

Last week the media caravan headed for Small Business Minister Fran Bailey’s seat of McEwen. It was almost enough to make me believe that the press gang had discovered that independent contractors and home-based business workers are the people that have gone AWOL from the ranks of the dreaded unions.

But no – it was Rudd and Nicola Roxon (shadow minister for health) talking about international big business finance and health rather than small business that was the centre of attention. This really has to stick in the craw of us in home-based business – the continued lack of recognition of us as a growing community and business resource.

It would be nice to see evidence that the major parties know that we have been the real source of more than half the full-time jobs that have been generated across the nation. When and/or if the mining boom faces commodity competition from around the globe, home-based business will still be growing and creating real wealth for us all.

Thinking about what’s in it for home-based business, I’ve just had a look at the website for both major parties. Searching home business on either site brings up not a single policy to address home-based business. We don’t even rate a mention.

Under “small business” Labor is offering:

Having a look at Liberals, they are not much further advanced in the recognition stakes, offering these policies (under “our policies and plans”):

Unfortunately, home-based business is still not on the radar for either of the majors and as for the third political force in the country (after the slow demise of the Democrats) the Greens – who could have control of the Senate this time round – small business doesn’t make it into the top policy listings – let alone home-based business.

Brown and his green army are sticking instead to the macro level of economics and weighing into the debate on employment and IR without any apparent interest in the home-business operators who don’t have huge smoke stacks.

When will we see the representatives of the big end of town and the industrial work force accept that the real force for the future of Australia lies with those households that have higher than average levels of innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship, lower than average spare time to waste on rhetoric and a real commitment to training the next generation of Australian workers?

This time next week we should know the outcome of the election, unless they’re re-counting key marginals that are too close to call. Even with the different polls coming out, we could know the result by 8.30pm on Saturday evening as to which way it’s going to go and whether it’s the Howard/Costello ticket (assuming the PM holds Bennelong – Maxine is one gusty lady to be taking that fight on) or the Rudd/Swan team that will steer our prosperity in spite of the likely global financial tsunami following the sub-prime melt-down heading our way.

Either way it begs the question – when will they recognise us in home business?


Dr Jane Shelton not only runs a business from home but is doing business research into people working from home. She is managing director of Marshall Place Associates, Melbourne’s independent think tank, and CEO (honourary) for ‘Life. Be in it.’ International. Shelton has a Doctorate in Business Administration at the Australian Graduate School of Entrepreneurship (AGSE) at Swinburne University of Technology after a Master of Arts in Public Policy at Melbourne University and a Bachelor of Business in banking and finance at Monash University.

For more Home Business blogs, click here .



Jeffrey Gabriel writes: As a Democrat, I’d prefer you assess our policies rather than predict our demise. The latter is a bit premature considering our polling is above 2004 and pollsters have contemplated a Democrats Senator being re-elected in Queensland. Our policies can be found at this link. Small business is on our radar and home businesses are valued by the Democrats because for a number of reasons. Among them, they help address work/family balance and because they usually mean fewer resources wasted.

 Colin Benjamin replies to the above: Hey Jeffrey, check out your own site and put “Home business” into your own search engine. Where do we find any evidence that a reviatalised Democrats have a single reference to home-based business. Yep home ownership, home care, and homes, and yep reference to small business. But I must have missed your insight into the phenomenon of industrial contractors, home-based business and their relationship to the exodus from unions.

“Sound Mind” writes: Both parties’ rhetoric leaves a lot to be desired in all aspects of current and new policy. We may have the basis upon which to work but lack serious vision when it comes to matters of national importance such as climate change, sustainable energy, affordable living standards, and basic law and order. These issues and more affect all of us. Unfortunately the majority of the population is so immersed in self gratification that issues outside their peripheral vision are non-existent and unimportant until it affects them personally.


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