Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman (ASBFEO) Kate Carnell has welcomed the passage of legislation providing enhanced protection for small businesses in New South Wales when negotiating retail tenancy leases.

“The changes made to the NSW Retail Leases Act embody this idea by helping increase transparency and protection for small businesses when working out the details of a lease agreement with their landlord.

“Of course, some landlords are themselves small businesses, so the changes to the Act help ensure they benefit from the added level of protection the amendments provide.

“The bill was passed unopposed in both houses of parliament so I congratulate all sides of politics for working together to ensure NSW is a fertile environment for small businesses to grow and prosper.

“Bi-partisanship – at all levels of government – is so important when it comes to measures designed to foster and enhance small business growth, and NSW is certainly leading by example in this regard.

“Latest figures show the number of small businesses operating across the country is on the rise; so too the number of people they’re employing, so it really goes without saying that small businesses are doing some pretty heavy lifting when it comes to the overall economy.

“If we want this trend to continue, we’ve got to see more of this kind of reform that balances the ledger between the small guys and the bigger players out there, including the Unfair Contract Terms legislation, which came into effect last year.

“The ASBFEO office is continuing its work to ensure small business standard form contracts are fair and comply with the new legislation,” Ms Carnell said.