With internal tensions gaining significant media coverage, the federal government and its state counterparts are being warned to pull their finger out to support SMEs to grow.
The Australian SME Business Sentiment Index, conducted quarterly by Momentum Intelligence, revealed a 2.11 per cent drop in sentiment among business owners – the bulk of which was a direct result of dissatisfaction with our governments.
“Unless you've been living under a rock, [you will be familiar with] the battering that the Liberals have taken in the polls, at national levels, certainly at state levels as well,” notes Andy Scott, head of research at Momentum Intelligence.
According to Andy, 58.5 per cent of business owners give a thumbs down to the federal government’s ability to stimulate growth for SMEs – more than double the proportion who support the government’s management of the economy (21.1 per cent).
The picture is even more bleak for employees of SMEs, with just under two-thirds (65 per cent) saying the government is not managing the economy for the benefit of SMEs. Just 13.6 per cent of employees sided with the government.
“If the key drivers of your economy, and key employers in your economy … are looking at you down the barrel quite negatively, it's not a great place for a government to be at all,” Andy says.
“You're always going to see that balance in these sentiments, between those that see the glass half-full and those that see the glass half-empty. I guess that really becomes apparent when you see a drop like that ... I think the incumbents are really doing a bad job when that sort of thing comes through in the data.”
Adam Zuchetti is the editor of My Business, and has steered the publication’s editorial direction since early 2016.