A major push is on by the small business council for the federal government to put its money where its mouth is on supporting SMEs to grow.
Council of Small Businesses of Australia (COSBOA) CEO Peter Strong and new chair Mark McKenzie outlined their pre-budget submission for 2018, which aims to address five of the key roadblocks to greater growth among the SME community.
“Small business owners employ over 4.4 million Australians and drive innovation in our economy,” Mr Strong said.
“Looking at the past few decades, we can see that the governments who have supported small businesses created increased employment and improved economic growth. The success of Australia depends on the success of small business. We need to continue to create better incentives to encourage our small businesses to invest and innovate.”
In a bid to achieve this, COSBOA is pushing for the government to address five core priorities.
- Encourage investment and innovation through a combination of lower tax rates, tax incentives and targeted programs – including extending and enhancing the $20,000 instant asset write-off past its current 30 June expiry date as well as the establishment of a small business investment allowance.
- Promote productivity through reducing red tape and enhancing flexibility for small business owners. Most noteworthy in this push is a simplification of cumbersome tax compliance procedures and modern awards system, and requirements for invoices to be paid on time.
- Invest in a world-class education system that focuses on developing our future entrepreneurs and ensuring that students are job-ready.
- Enhance our skilled workforce by improving and establishing training and skill development programs for new and existing employees of small businesses, with a needs-based approach to funding for training and better accountability for funding programs.
- Develop new pathways into employment in small business, and strengthen already existing frameworks such as the New Enterprise Incentive Scheme.
“The 2018-19 budget is a significant opportunity for the Australian government to show small business people that they are looking after their interests,” said Mr McKenzie.
“While small business policy isn’t only about the budget, maintaining lower tax rates and instant asset write-offs are valuable initiatives. These should be continued to promote economic growth and improve small business confidence.”
Adam Zuchetti is the editor of My Business, and has steered the publication’s editorial direction since early 2016.