Business leaders are becoming increasingly cynical of governments at all levels as the bluster about supporting SMEs fails to translate into meaningful action.
“There’s a growing sense of cynicism … we’ve noticed around the country of small businesses saying to government broadly, governments of all persuasions at all levels, ‘there [are] some key things we want you to do, just get on and do it’,” said Andrew Conway, CEO of the Institute of Public Accountants (IPA).
“So, I think generally speaking small businesses will get on and do what they have to do; they’re happy, they’re content. But there’s a huge opportunity to seize a productivity dividend in Australia if governments get onto this.”
Mr Conway said taxes are a prime example of this sentiment, where talk of taxation reform, committees and reports deliver recommendations which are often delayed or never acted upon.
For this reason, the IPA is undertaking a national roadshow to connect with SMEs nationwide and deliver their real-world findings to all levels of government in the hope of driving tangible and meaningful change.
“It’ll happen about the end of this calendar year. We’ll have the first draught if you like, and then early in 2018 we’ll actually have the final presented in Canberra. And then we present actually to all levels of government,” he said.
Mr Conway urged all SMEs to engage with the IPA as part of this process, to enable their concerns and experiences to see the light of day and drive effective policy action.
“If I pose you this one question: ‘As a small business owner, what’s keeping you awake at night?’, that will give us some great policy input in terms of the whitepaper process,” he said.
Adam Zuchetti is the editor of My Business, and has steered the publication’s editorial direction since early 2016.