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The services provided by BEC
(Darwin Region) Inc are partially
funded by the Australian
Government and NT Government.



Message from the Manager

Law and order and how it impacts on small business has been front and centre in the news recently.

My heart goes out to small business owner Jason Hannah of Eva’s Botanical Gardens Café that was recently trashed by an early morning intruder allegedly on a drug and alcohol fuelled rampage.

It looks like the intruder was intent on demolishing the place!  Unless you have personally had the experience of arriving at your business premises to find it has been broken into and trashed, it’s difficult to understand the initial shock, dismay, disgust and eventually the raw anger that you feel. I have experienced it myself as a shop owner when some lowlifes decided they needed to break in and steal my property and trash everything they could.

The NT News recently reported that break-ins at commercial premises in Palmerston increased by a staggering 70% whilst there was a slight drop in similar offences in Darwin.

Whilst the Police appear to be doing their best, they can’t be everywhere. The lunatics who commit these crimes are often severely affected by drugs and alcohol, are oblivious to the consequences of their actions and go on to claim that some form of personal issue or event drove them to take out their frustrations on a small business. They think a small business is an impersonal object. They don’t understand or care it’s someone’s pride and joy. They don’t appreciate the hard work, personal effort and sweat that business owners contribute nor do they understand how much customers care for a business.

Either way, business owners, customers and the community at large deserve better. A crime against a business is a crime and a cost that eventually the whole community ends up paying for. A way has to be found to reduce commercial property crime.

Yes, business owners can turn their premises into electronic fortresses, protected with electric fences, barred doorways and windows. That just makes for unattractive premises that resemble concrete bunkers.

That’s not the answer. But, I don’t know what is.

Any suggestions from our readers who might have recently experienced commercial property crime?

On a lighter note, I have received an offer from the Editor of Inside Small Business Magazine for our BEC newsletter readers to have a FREE entry in its Small Biz Network Business Directory. Check out the Directory here

If you want to sign up send me an email and I will get the process underway.

Jack Hughes


BEC Darwin is proud to be the provider of the Australian Small Business Advisory Service Programme (ASBAS) which offers low cost business advisory services to grow the skills of small business operators within the Darwin, Palmerston and Litchfield local government areas.

All of our workshops are fully booked in September.

There will be no Business Solutions workshops during October due to renovation works being undertaken at the BEC offices. As an alternative, clients should check out the October Business Month program here.

Our workshop program for November and December will be posted mid-October so keep an eye out on the BEC Darwin website.


This year's OBM calendar is packed with 165 opportunities for professional development and networking to assist businesses and is expected to draw more than 9000 attendees across the Territory. Most of these events are free, many are held after hours to allow small to medium sized businesses to keep operating as normal. Don't miss out. Book early to avoid disappointment! Visit the OBM website for details.


The Council of Small Business of Australia (COSBOA) in supporting Heads up – an initiative developed by The Mentally Healthy Workplace Alliance and Beyondblue. COSBOA are establishing a reference group of 40+ small business owners from diverse businesses across all of Australia.

Communicating primarily online, the group will be asked (from time to time) to give their opinion and advice to Beyondblue about mental health resources that they develop for the small business community. You don’t have to be an expert in mental health, or have experienced any mental health challenges yourself. Your experience owning a small business is what they’re interested in.

COSBOA are particularly keen to include sole operators. They are often the group that misses out on material specifically developed for them, and now is an opportunity to ensure their voice is heard.

If you’d like to participate, please complete the form, scan it and send it to Alternatively, call Leanne Faulkner on 0419 231 580 if you have any questions about the project.


Changes to Eligibility and extra support for Businesses in Northern Australia

The Industry Skills Fund (the Fund) will help build a highly skilled workforce that can take advantage of new business growth opportunities and adapt to rapid technological change.

From 1 September 2015, there is no requirement for Businesses to be incorporated.This means Sole Traders and Not for Profit Organisations (excluding charitable organisations) can access support provided through the Fund, as long as they still meet other eligibility criteria.

For Businesses located or operating in Northern Australia (all of NT and above the tropic of Capricorn in WA and QLD) the co-contribution rates have been reduced to the following:

  • Micro, Small, & Medium Business (0-199 FTE employees) 25%
  • Large Business (200+ FTE employees) 50%

For more information on how you can access the Fund, visit or come along to a free information session:

Date: Tuesday 29 September or Tuesday 6 October 2015

Time: 4 – 5 pm

Venue: Spinifex Meeting Room, Level 3 Jacana House, 39-41 Woods Street Darwin NT

Cost: Free

To register click here.


The Northern Territory Government has released its Economic Development Strategy detailing the long term economic development road map, priorities and direction.

The Strategy identifies priority areas and opportunities for future economic growth of the Territory. It is a planned and structured approach to ensuring a prosperous economy that also delivers balanced outcomes for society and the environment.

The Strategy’s focus is projects that drive economic development and diversification, investment and job creation. Government will focus on seven priority opportunities and six economic enablers to support the private sector to create economic growth and employment opportunities in the Northern Territory.


Looking to start a new business or expand your existing business?

The BEC is all about supporting individuals with sound practical advice from start up to business growth in the early years.

Our Small Business Workshops provide an introduction to five specific and important areas of business including business structures and tax, marketing and bookkeeping. Best of all the workshops are FREE!


Venue: QUEST, 18 The Boulevard, Palmerston
Dates: 19-21 October 2015

Alice Springs

Venue: QUEST, 9-10 South Terrace The Gap Alice Springs
Dates: 20-21 October 2015


Venue: Katherine Training Centre, 19 Second Street, Katherine
Dates: 27-28 October 2015


Venue: BEC Darwin, 20 Catterthun Street, Winnellie (Lower Level)
Dates: 16-23 November2015 (evening workshops), 7-9 December 2015

Bookings are essential : register online


Do you need help to work out wages and entitlements for your employees?

The Fair Work Ombudsman has released the mobile-friendly Pay and Conditions Tool (PACT) that combines pay, shift and leave calculators.

It can locate the correct Modern Award for an employee’s position and quickly determine what wages apply, including any overtime, penalty rates or allowances payable.


Territory Businesses can register now for free workshops to help them grow their own skills and develop their business as part of a suite of programs offered by the Northern Territory Government to help Territory businesses to start, run and grow.

Held around the Territory throughout the year, the practical and hands-on workshops facilitated by industry experts provide business owners with valuable networking opportunities and access to support programs as their business continues to grow.

Over 700 NT Business people attended 51 Upskills workshops in the last financial year. Many past participants of Upskills workshops have gone on to develop their businesses into award winning, innovative and profitable ventures.

The workshop topics for 2015/16 are:

Business Management

  • Business planning essentials
  • Keeping your business on track
  • Building client relationships and business networks
  • Workforce planning and development


  • Financial health check
  • Setting financial strategy – what is the future?
  • Pricing and quoting for profit
  • Tendering – how to?

Human Resources

  • Attract and retain staff
  • Fair work legislation
  • Managing Staff performance
  • Work health and safety


  • Developing an effective workshop
  • Marketing strategies
  • Marketing online
  • Introduction to social media
  • Advanced social media

To view the calendar of events and to register visit the Upskills website


Quarterly SMSF statistical report released

The ATO has released its quarterly self-managed superannuation fund (SMSF) statistical report for June 2015.

According to the report, there are estimated to be more than 557,000 SMSFs with total assets of $590 billion. Both the number of funds and their combined assets have increased by roughly six per cent since June 2014.

The full SMSF quarterly statistical report for June 2015 can be accessed on

Get more in your refund this tax time

Having already returned more than $13 billion in refunds this tax time, the ATO is encouraging taxpayers who haven’t lodged to review their records and make sure they claim every deduction they can.

The ATO has released some simple guides and videos to help people understand what they can and can’t claim. The ATO’s new tool myDeductions, available through the ATO App, is also making it easier for taxpayers to keep records of their work-related expenses throughout the year.

You can access the guides and how-to videos as well as more information on myDeductions, at

News delivered to your inbox

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) Small business newsroom tells you what you need to know, when you need to know it, with short, easy to read articles on:

  • tax and super changes
  • helpful products and services
  • handy tips and reminders.

Newsroom subscribers get an email update with the latest headlines every few weeks. To make sure you don’t miss out, the ATO is signing small businesses up to receive this useful service.

Not getting this service yet?You can subscribe anytime.

Thinking about changing your business structure?

If your business is growing or you want to downsize, you might need to change your business structure.

There are differences between a sole trader and a company you need to be aware of before you make the change., ATO and ASIC have worked together to develop a new interactive checklist, which covers key points such as taxes, liabilities, responsibilities, asset protection and ongoing costs.


Check out the latest articles in the Inside Small Business Newsletter:


Did you know that Free Trade Agreements (FTA) can be used by businesses large and small?

As FTAs come into force, you may find new opportunities to expand your business overseas. Or, you may find that overseas investors are interested in partnering in your business operations.

To help you get the facts, the Australian Government has just launched the Open For Business website. It directs you to a range of government resources on:

  • understanding FTAs
  • business support for exporters
  • expanding your export business.

To make sure you’re up to date with how FTAs can help you, you can also:


Your potential customers and clients are searching for businesses on their smartphone. How easy is your website to use on a 4.5" screen? Mobile-friendly websites can make it easier to convert potential customers and clients into real ones.

Want to know more about making your website mobile-friendly? The Digital Business website has some great tips.


Stay Smart Online Week 2015 is happening from 12-16 October 2015.

Stay Smart Online is an online safety and security website, designed to help people understand the risks and steps they can take to protect their personal and financial information online.

Every year small businesses fall victim to scams and cybercrimes, and can suffer significant financial, legal and reputational damage as a result.

You can make sure your business is protected online by following these steps.


If you work in the Indigenous construction industry, the Department of Defence would like to meet you. On 14 October 2015, the Department of Defence is running a networking event from 9:30am to 12:00pm to provide an opportunity for government officers to meet and develop working relationships with Indigenous suppliers.

To register your interest, email the Defence Indigenous Supplier Engagement team at


On 18 August 2015, the legislation to establish the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman (the Ombudsman) passed Parliament.

The legislation received Royal Assent on 11 September 2015, which also marked the start of the recruitment process for the Ombudsman.

Those with relevant qualifications and experience are encouraged to apply for the position, which will be run as an open, merit-based selection process.

The selection criteria is available at you need more information, call Mark Lelliott at NGS Global on (03) 8626 0621. Applications close on 5 October 2015.


The voice of micro and small business - supporting the BEC network across Australia

Read the latest issue of 'Inside Small Business' magazine online now.

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