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Design Principles for Small Business Programs and Regulations

Staff research paper

This paper by Ralph Lattimore, Alan Madge, Barbara Martin and James Mills was released on 21 August 1998. The paper is one of a series focusing on small business issues. It is intended to provide a guide about the rationales for, and design, implementation and evaluation of, small business programs and regulations.

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Cover, Copyright, Foreword, Contents, Abbreviations, Overview

1 Introduction
1.1 The importance of small business policy
1.2 Which businesses are small businesses?
1.3 The diversity of small businesses
1.4 Structure of the report

2 Small business: an overview
2.1 What is small business?
2.2 Small business in Australia: a statistical snapshot
2.3 Small firms and innovation
2.4 The relevance of size
2.5 Relations between small and large firms: cooperation and conflict
2.6 Concluding comments

3 Small business programs
3.1 Introduction
3.2 General assistance for small business
3.3 Policies to overcome special problems for the small business sector
3.4 SMEs and other business policies
3.5 The emphasis of small business policies in Australia and overseas
3.6 Use of government programs
3.7 Conclusion

4 Reasons for business assistance
4.1 Introduction
4.2 Broad economic grounds for intervention in industry
4.3 Are there economic failures affecting small business?
4.4 Do special features of the small business sector provide a rationale for assistance?
4.5 Small businesses and managerial training
4.6 Small businesses’ use of specialist external advice
4.7 Small businesses and exporting
4.8 Small businesses’ access to finance
4.9 Fair trading between large and small firms
4.10 The costs and challenges of intervention
4.11 Concluding comments

5 Efficient small business program design
5.1 Introduction
5.2 Broad issues in program design
5.3 Take-up and compliance issues
5.4 Additionality
5.6 Program evaluation issues
5.7 Other issues in program management and design
5.8 Small business policy by default
5.9 Delivery options
5.10 An extended illustration

6 Applying the principles: some small business examples
6.1 Introduction
6.2 The Export Market Development Grants scheme
6.3 Export Access
6.4 The Enterprise Development Program
6.5 The New Enterprise Incentive Scheme (NEIS)
6.6 Other small business programs
6.7 Australian business programs: the broad picture

7 The impact of regulations on small business
7.1 Introduction
7.2 The scope of regulation and their costs
7.3 Compliance costs of taxation and regulation
7.4 Particular regulatory concerns of small business

8 Best practice regulatory design
8.1 Introduction
8.2 Rationale for action
8.3 Risks of government failure
8.4 Choices of regulatory or non-regulatory instrument
8.5 Regulation process
8.6 Regulation design principles
8.7 Recent measures to improve regulation

9 How should regulations take account of small business?
9.1 Introduction
9.2 Is different treatment warranted?
9.3 Awareness raising
9.4 Flexible delivery
9.5 Information collection and provision
9.6 Regulatory tiering
9.7 Concluding comments


A Prominent small business programs
A.1 Improving the efficiency of business operations
A.2 Assistance for firms commencing exports
A.3 Encouraging research, development and innovation
A.4 Programs to improve SMEs’ access to finance
A.5 Government purchasing
A.6 Creation of new small businesses

B Commonwealth and State/Territory small business programs

C Recent reforms to the fair trading law
C.1 The Trade Practices Act and unfair behaviour: background to the changes
C.2 The fair trading inquiry
C.3 Government response to the fair trading report

D The benefits of the R&D Tax Concession

E Impacts of the New Enterprise Incentive Scheme
E.1 Analytical framework
E.2 Results
E.3 A new approach for appraising NEIS

F Government regulation review machinery
F.1 Review of existing regulations
F.2 Review of new regulatory proposals