A new Xero survey of over 500 Australian small businesses, employing fewer than 20 employees, has shed light on what SMEs are looking to gain from the federal government’s 2021–2022 budget, which is being delivered on 11 May.
According to the findings, 27 per cent of survey respondents are looking for more support, with many describing the issues they are still having off the back of the COVID-19 pandemic, including restrictions on their business operations (38 per cent), revenue (34 per cent) and cash flow management (29 per cent).
Nineteen per cent of respondents said they rely on government support to continue trading, while 19 per cent said they rely on it in readying their business for the future.
Overall, the survey determined the top five areas the SME respondents think the government should focus on when it comes to small business and the budget.
Top 5 priorities for SMEs
1. Additional instant asset tax write-offs, selected by 26 per cent of respondents.
2. Free or low-cost training to upskill and reskill, selected by 24 per cent of respondents.
3. Relief packages relevant to COVID-19 lockdown impacts, selected by 23 per cent of respondents.
4. Support for young entrepreneurs to grow their networks and experience, selected by 22 per cent of respondents.
5. Skills training assistance to help with running the business, selected by 20 per cent of respondents.
If such measures are put in place, 28 per cent of respondents said they’ll leverage the budget to sell existing products or services to new customers, followed by 27 per cent of respondents who said they’ll sell new products or services to existing and new customers.
A further 26 per cent of respondents said certain measures will allow them to use more technology to run their businesses and 15 per cent said they’ll be able to hire new staff.