MyBusiness Week kicked off with an interview with Kirsten Fish, the ATO’s Deputy Commissioner for Small Business, who chatted through JobKeeper eligibility changes, the new tiered system and what it entails, as well as a range of other measures available to small businesses and sole traders.
“Undeniably, 2020 has been the most challenging year yet. Small businesses and tax professionals continue to face uncertainty in this unprecedented time,” Ms Fish began.
“What we’re here to do is to help and support those small businesses meet their obligations. We know that small businesses were under stress even before the pandemic hit, and as we continue to navigate this pandemic, our job is to continue to support businesses who need that help.”
Aside from reiterating all the different levels of support available to businesses, Ms Fish also outlined the ATO’s compliance approach.
Next, businesses heard from Kate Carnell, Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman (ASBFEO), who talked through the proposals her office has made to the government to help SMEs out of the current crisis. These include revenue-contingent loans and Ms Carnell’s latest initiative for the addition of a small business viability review program in the upcoming federal budget.
“We really need to go and encourage those small businesses to get that viability assessment now. For many of them, they’ll just need some financial help to do that. That’s what we’re hoping for, so far not so good, but we’re working on it,” said the ombudsman, referencing the work she is doing with the accounting and bookkeeping bodies in lobbying the government to implement the review program.
Continuing on the policy front, our audience heard from Andrew Conway, the CEO of the IPA, who talked about the situation in his hometown, Melbourne, how accountants are aiding small businesses through this crisis and his expectations of the budget.
Mr Conway also shared his insight into what businesses can do to prepare for the next stage of the pandemic.
His presentation was followed by Fair Work Ombudsman Sandra Parker who detailed how the regulator is supporting small businesses, especially those in sectors heavily impacted by the coronavirus crisis.
Ms Parker revealed all the new tools available for small businesses to help navigate challenges with workplace compliance during this difficult time.
Day 2 ended with a presentation by Fiona Robertson, culture and leadership speaker, executive coach and author, filled with useful tips for small to medium businesses looking to pivot successfully.
Last but not least, the winner of the $300 MyBusiness Week prize is Jacqui Winters from Phoenix Transport.
More than 3,000 small-business owners are now registered for MyBusiness Week. Please join us for Day 3, which will kick off with a keynote session from the Australian Banking Association.
The virtual MyBusiness Week 2020 continues on 1 October.