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The latest South Australian business statistics paint a picture of an economy that has ground to halt with SA having the lowest ranked business conditions in Australia and recording the most business exits (net) in mainland Australia in 2013-14.

The National Australia Bank’s monthly business survey reveals that South Australia has the lowest ranked business conditions in Australia and Australian Bureau of Statistics data shows South Australia lost 14 businesses in 2013-14, while all other mainland states have had positive growth.

Of the mainland states, New South Wales gained 8,522 businesses, Victoria 7,160, Western Australia 2,929 and Queensland 2,032, while South Australia had a total loss of 14 businesses.

Shadow Minister for Investment and Trade Tim Whetstone said establishing and building business’ in South Australia is key to future economic growth.

“South Australia’s business start-ups are already very low compared to other mainland states but to have net a loss of businesses in the state is extremely concerning,” Mr Whetstone said.

“Small businesses are the backbone of South Australia and need to be encouraged to prosper, not taxed into extinction.

“South Australia is the highest taxed state in the nation and this is detrimentally impacting upon business confidence and investment.

“To attract business and create jobs in South Australia we need to lower taxes and reduce red tape to encourage investment and economic growth.”

Mr Whetstone said businesses are also facing serious challenges because the Weatherill Labor Government continues to provide inadequate support for exporters.

“The reality is that South Australia’s economic base relies on expanding our exports and accessing new markets,” Mr Whetstone said.

“Instead of increasing funding for trade related programs, the State Labor Government has significantly reduced assistance and this is one of the major factors the state’s business exit level is where it is today.”