HEALTHY ECONOMY: Rockhampton Health Options Lynette and Peter Lewis.
HEALTHY ECONOMY: Rockhampton Health Options Lynette and Peter Lewis.

Discussions with Deputy Mayor over home-business register

ROCKHAMPTON Health Options owner Peter Lewis is frustrated with the way home-based businesses are undercutting traditional small business owners.

Following an article in The Morning Bulletin last week about Mayor Margaret Strelow's rejection of business rates for "micro-businesses", Mr Lewis said he understood the disappointment with the move.

Mr Lewis explained home-run businesses deeply impacted the profitability of store-front businesses.

"The concern is well-founded... it's affecting my business as well," he said. "I've spent over $100,000 training over the years and I have got to compete against people who do a little weekend course in massage who aren't properly trained."

After contacting the Rockhampton Regional Council, Mr Lewis said he was alarmed to find no council register for micro-businesses in the region.

He said he suggested the council explore establishing a register during a meeting with Deputy Mayor Tony Williams.

"This recommendation was discussed and due consideration for a possible home-based business register may likely be investigated," Mr Lewis said.

"The virtue in operating from a business premises is in providing the younger generation with opportunities for job placement and work experience... a fully operational small business contributes actively to cash flow benefits."

Cr Williams said he understood that business was very tough at the moment, but told Mr Lewis he would look at what other councils had in place in regards to a register.

"As (home businesses) develop they go into the commercial sphere and get bigger... they are the incubator and starting point for small businesses," he said."Policing that register would be a difficult point from council's perspective, as far as resourcing goes."

Cr Williams said he understood the problems faced by small businesses when it came to out-of-home operations, but said it came down to a balancing act.

"You don't want to discourage people from taking that first step... it's about the intensity of it, that's the key. A shop provides a lot more turnover."