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Businesses can claim an additional tax deduction when they buy certain assets, and when they spend money to improve existing assets, for a limited time. It’s called the Small Business and General Business Tax Break – ‘business tax break’ for short.

The Australian Government announced the tax break as an ‘investment allowance’ in December 2008 aimed at helping businesses meet the challenges of the economic downturn.

The government later extended this tax break in the May Budget to allow small businesses to claim a 50% tax deduction on eligible assets bought by 31 December 2009.

Source  :   www.ato.gov.au

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WITH a new manager running a very tight ship, and a new chef in the kitchen armed with a new menu, Oceanus on the Beach in City Beach has undergone something of a renaissance in recent months.

Since moving to Perth from his native Scotland, chef John Martin has run kitchens at the likes of the old Campo De’fiori in Applecross and the Royal Perth Golf Club as well as his own Wembley restaurant, ultimately selling the business to spend more time with his growing family.

Martin said the first thing he did was change the Oceanus’ menu to something more in tune with the beachside restaurant’s oceanic surrounds.

“The last chef went sort of 90 per cent meat on the menu, and I thought, we’re surrounded by water here, so I went back to about 80 per cent seafood, 20 per cent meat,” he said.

“There’s nothing on the menu that I’m not proud of.” Martin – who was originally trained in French cooking – said simplicity was an important part of his culinary ethos.

 “I go for the good taste and the flavour and I tell the staff in the kitchen to keep it simple ,” he said.

 “You get a lot of chefs that put too many flavours in; complex flavours, and you end up with this mish-mash on your plate.

” Another recent addition to Oceanus is manager Paul Fox, brought in by owner Tom Galopoulos. Fox said he arrived at the restaurant shortly after Martin.

“All I’ve done is just streamline the staff to make sure the service is at a level where it should be, that all the staff are fully professional and really compatible with the industry,” he said.

“I’m teaching my staff the three things I find lacking most in the industry – complex flavours, and you end up with this mish-mash on your plate and, to let people know that the menus are suggestions.

“If you like the sound of the fish of the day, but you don’t want the mashed potatoes with it, we will ask what would you like with it?

“Products in the fridge are there to be used and the chef is there to cook the food that you want to eat.”

Oceanus is also introducing some dinner shows later in the year, with pub-rock legends Mental as Anything dropping in as part of their 30th anniversary tour, as well as a show by Richard Clapton.

Source  :  www.inmycommunity.com.au

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Retailers are boosting staff numbers in anticipation of an improvement in consumer spending, according to the Australian Retailers Association.                 retail

The industry group’s executive director, Richard Evans, said surveys of association members showed a 12 per cent jump in employment for small and medium-sized retailers this month, painting a much more positive picture than figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics earlier this month.

The number of people employed in the retail sector fell by less than 0.1 per cent last month compared with February, on a seasonally adjusted basis, but the ABS also reported an increase in underutilisation—the proportion of the workforce that is either unemployed or not working as many hours as it would like.

The rate of underutilisation among female workers was 9.1per cent last month, compared with 6.4 per cent for men, which the ABS attributed to the larger proportion of women working in industries with high levels of casual employment, such as retail.

However, Mr Evans said most retailers were holding on to skilled staff in preparation for rising demand, with 68 per cent reporting no change in employment levels in the past quarter.

“A further 16 per cent of retailers actually increased their number of staff during the same period,” he said.

“Retailing works in cycles, and although the sector has experienced a downturn, good retailers are doing their best to hold on to skilled staff as consumer confidence continues to grow and a new type of consumer emerges.”

The same trend was in play among the bigger retailers, with David Jones boosting staffing levels around the Mother’s Day shopping period after the delivery of the federal government’s fiscal stimulus package in April led to a sharp rebound in sales.

Mr Evans said the stimulus package and lower interest rates meant most consumers had more cash available to spend, but “negative and fear-filled commentary” had fuelled a tendency among consumers to cut discretionary spending in favour of saving or paying off debt.

This meant shoppers would be in a better position to spend when confidence picks up again—with the ARA forecasting an improvement as soon as the September quarter.

Source  :  www.careerone.com.au

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