The Federal Government’s Digital Business Plan will help to create the jobs Australia needs and will set us on a stronger course for the recovery out of COVID-19, ACCI’s Chief Economist Ross Lambie said.
“COVID has accelerated the pace and scale of digitalisation of the economy – we have been thrust into a new era of digital growth years ahead of what would have normally been the case,” Dr Lambie said.
“This country needs a wave of digitally savvy Aussie SMEs to create high-tech jobs and kick start investment in emerging technologies.
“Today’s $800 million investment is in response to overwhelming evidence that we needed a comprehensive plan to help Australian entrepreneurs pursue digitally-driven growth and have the confidence to transform their business model and thrive via an online community.”
ACCI’s initial Business Conditions Survey, taken at the outset of the COVID-19 restrictions, showed that about a third of businesses had quickly responded by expanding their online presence.
The ABS Business Impacts of COVID survey (September 24) found 20 per cent of businesses that changed to online delivery expected to continue with the changes after COVID.
“We also need to let go of the past ways of doing things and embrace more efficient, less costly processes such as moving to e-invoicing, virtual meetings and executing documents electronically.
“There is a lack of awareness of the productivity and profitability gains that can be achieved through the adoption of digital technologies such as online sales, new payment technologies and social media. Expansion of the Australian Small Business Advisory Service – Digital Solutions program, and a Digital Readiness Assessment tool and Digital Directors training package will help small businesses seize greater opportunities to grow and employ more people.
“We hope it will make it easier for people to start a new business and operate a business by reducing the time needed to fill out forms and provide the same information over and over.
“And we look forward to seeing the benefits flow to many businesses operating in, or considering relocating to, regional Australia as distance becomes less of a barrier in connecting to potential customers.”