With the dust now settled from the federal budget, business owners are admitting the government’s opportunity to inspire confidence among self-employed people was largely missed.
A My Business poll taken immediately after the federal budget was announced in early May 2017 revealed that close to half of SME owners (47 per cent) felt the budget would have no real impact on their business either way.
A further 16.7 per cent felt the various policy measures announced in the budget would be mostly negative on their business, and 10.6 per cent were unsure.
That left just a quarter of business owners who felt the budget had delivered much-needed supportive measures for their business growth prospects.
The poll reflects similar findings by a larger survey conducted by Westpac and the Melbourne Institute, which found that 62 per cent felt the budget would have no real impact on their operation either way.
However, that survey found that among those who felt there will be impacts on their business, the positive and negative camps were evenly split.
“The muted response to the federal budget is somewhat disappointing, particularly given several measures specifically aimed at boosting SMEs,” says Westpac senior economist Matthew Hassan.
According to Mr Hassan, the most welcomed measures by business owners were the cut in the corporate tax rate followed by the one-year extension of the $20,000 instant asset write-off.
The $300 million allocated to cutting red tape and a new $1.5 billion national skills fund were among the policies expected to have the least impact on business growth.
Adam Zuchetti is the editor of My Business, and has steered the publication’s editorial direction since early 2016.