Kalgoorlie-Boulder business groups are urging small business owners to check regulations before considering operating from home.

The warning was sparked by news that local business Mum’s Roast would have to close after owner Trish Allison was informed of the required regulations to operate from home.

Mrs Allison received the disappointing news when she made contact with City officials earlier this week, with officers advising that thousands of dollars worth of renovations would be required for her kitchen to meet the regulations.

City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder chief executive Don Burnett said there were two issues with Mum’s Roast operating out of home.

“The first issue is the requirement for anyone wanting to sell prepared food, ” he said.

“They have to comply with the National Standards required for food preparation, regardless if it is a restaurant or they want to operate from a residential property.”

The second issue was the impact on the surrounding area.

“Amenity impacts that would have to be assessed include vehicle movements, parking, number of customers, operating hours and noise, ” Mr Burnett said.

“A home-based takeaway food business cannot operate in a residential area, while a food delivery business could be considered.”

Kalgoorlie-Boulder Chamber of Commerce and Industry chief executive Hugh Gallagher said it was a stand-out example of the complex regulations facing small business.

“There are many bylaws you have to comply with, health regulations you have to comply with, ” he said.

Mr Gallagher added the fact Mum’s Roast was a food business meant it faced greater scrutiny.

“When it comes to health, there really are no shortcuts, ” he said.

Mrs Allison originally sought to operate Mum’s Roast from home because of the impact of rent and power costs on profits.

Mr Gallagher said small businesses everywhere faced similar challenges and needed to plan meticulously.

“You can be assured that each year the cost of doing business is increasing, ” he said. “Unfortunately, it has got to the stage where it is beginning to favour big business over small business.”

Small Business Centre Goldfields manager Gary Brown urged entrepreneurs considering using a home as a base to investigate the situation fully.

“They need to do their homework to make sure they are aware of all the regulations in running a small business from home, ” he said.


© The West Australian

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