The Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman Kate Carnell has welcomed the mid-year budget update, saying it contains some welcome gifts for small businesses.
“It’s encouraging to see the federal government has allocated funds to establish the national payment times reporting framework,” Ms Carnell says.
“The framework will require large businesses to publish information about their payment policies, including how much time it takes to pay their small business suppliers.
“Critically, the government will provide $156.2 million over four years to streamline regulatory compliance processes and cut the cost of doing business.
“This includes the creation of a single national business register and the introduction of Director Identification Numbers.
“We also welcome continued efforts by the government to combat illegal phoenixing behaviour. Illegal phoenixing not only hurts small businesses, it costs the economy as much as $3 billion per year.
“The government will spend $10 million over two years on its deregulation agenda to make it easier for small businesses to employ staff and invest in growth.
“A new online checklist will provide small business employers with a guide to employing their first worker, along with a commitment to developing a new prototype ‘regtech’ platform.
“Funds have also been committed to extend the free tax clinic program, following a successful pilot program.
“While small businesses will still use the tailored and comprehensive advice of their accountant or bookkeeper, there are many Australian microbusinesses that would benefit from additional support in understanding their tax and superannuation obligations.
“Of course, in the May 2020 Budget there are a number of items on our small business wish list, beginning with the extension of the instant asset write-off scheme.
“A lift in the $30,000 threshold for the instant asset write-off would be welcome with some industries such as farming requiring a higher threshold to enable them to purchase equipment.
“We also want to see some funds towards implementing the recommendations in the Joyce review, so that small businesses can get the staff they need with the right skills and training.
“At the end of the day, small businesses just want to be able to get on with the job of growing their business.
“We will continue to talk further with the government on measures that will benefit the small business sector and stimulate the economy.”