A sweet deal for small business
My first offering to The Punch for 2010 – and it’s a puff piece! Gena Karpf makes great, sweet puffy marshmallows. Fruity flavoured marshmallows, chocolate flavoured marshmallows, pretty much any sort of marshmallow you could imagine really.
Anyone who sees the swooning effect that Meryl Streep’s goodies have on Steve Martin in this summer’s hit movie It’s Complicated will get my drift.
Gena’s shop SWEETNESS: The Patisserie is two doors down from my new Electorate Office in Epping.
Despite starting her business last year when we all thought the global recession was going to leave a sour taste in our mouth, it’s been all sweetness and light for Gena.
Her marshmallows, her florentines, and her shortbread keep disappearing out the door as quickly as she can make them.
Gena has doubled her workforce since she opened her doors last February and is now looking to recruit another pastry chef.
What’s been the secret to her success?
Mostly it’s been Gena’s hard work and business acumen in developing a highly marketable product and finding a particular clientele to the point that she is now even thinking of exporting.
But I’d also like to take some of the credit.
It’s true my staff and I have been among Gena’s best customers from Day One.
But there’s also the marshmallow soft landing the Rudd Government has managed to give the Australian economy with our successful stimulus measures.
And a significant part of our stimulus was the sweet tax break we worked out for Australian businesses.
The Small Business and General Business Tax Break allowed businesses an extra tax deduction for plant and equipment purchased before December 31 that they needed to keep their business running.
Gena has used the tax break to great effect to invest in a new oven, fridges, freezer, a mixer and benches.
I suspect Gena’s story and thousands of others like it are the reason our employment figures are holding up the way they have over the last few months.
In NSW jobs advertisements are up by 56%.
This month we learnt that the national unemployment figure is 5.5%, with the NSW figure slightly higher at 5.9%
An astonishing result considering that across the pond, U.S. unemployment is a shocking 10%.
As I see it, the Australian economic achievement is a collective effort.
Employers kept their nerve.
They did so because they saw the right kind of targeted stimulus by the Rudd Labor Government, essential bank guarantees, and an appropriate institutional response from the RBA which all had the effect of sending a message that was too big to ignore.
We kept the confidence in the economy. At the start of 2010, it means that life is sweet for Gena, her employees and her customers!
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