The Business Council of Co-operatives and Mutuals today released their Federal Pre-Budget submission. The submission presents a plan for economic recovery through boosting Australia’s small and medium manufacturing industry.

BCCM CEO, Melina Morrison said Australia’s economic recovery needed a strong Australian made and owned manufacturing sector. The most efficient and sustainable way to enhance local manufacturing was to support existing SMEs to work together through co-operatives.

“To rebuild in Australian manufacturing there are limited policy options available to Government. A new opportunity to assist is supporting Australia’s existing small and family owned business sector to co-operate,” Morrison said.

“Manufacturing co-operatives are owned and led by their independent business members. They bring together local industry to scale sustainably and grow strong, sustainable businesses that distribute returns to members and the local community.

“BCCM have presented a plan to for the Federal Budget that focuses on a co-operative led recovery to scale local manufacturing businesses and create high quality jobs in regional centres.

“As the peak body for Australian co-operative and mutual businesses, BCCM is proposing to share knowledge with a new generation of co-operative enterprises.

“We have created a co-operative program that will deliver hundreds of new manufacturing jobs in multiple regional growth clusters. Bringing together Australian small and medium businesses, our plan creates opportunities for them to scale and compete at a national and international level.”

Morrison said the pandemic exposed weaknesses and gaps in Australia’s supply chains and highlighted the need for a national strategy to increase investment in local manufacturing and Australian owned and run businesses.

“As we focus on economic recovery, we are encouraging our policy makers to leverage co-operatives and mutuals as business models that support SMEs to play a big role in our recovery and deliver financial and social returns back to Australian communities,” Morrison said.

“Our plan focuses on facilitating existing co-operative clusters to work together to deliver jobs and growth and raise their own finance to invest.

“We know that grants to incentivise new business activity do not deliver the sustainable results that incentivising self-help can and can disadvantage smaller players in the market trying to compete fairly. Co-operatives and mutuals present an opportunity to increase Australian ownership of supply chains that align with the national interest.

“From agriculture and manufacturing to banking and health services, the more businesses that are Australian owned with returns going into Australian’s pockets, the stronger our economy will be.

“The pandemic has demonstrated that when all Australians work together with a common goal, we can achieve some great things. As we re-build Australia, co-operatives and mutuals will help rebuild local economies and local communities together with a common purpose – creating jobs, growing businesses and sharing returns.”

A copy of the pre-budget submission is available on our website.

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