Small and family businesses employ over 6 million Australians. They also contribute around $418 billion to our national economy. This is why it is crucial to help these businesses recover from the impacts of COVID-19.
The Australian Government’s $74 billion JobMaker Plan is designed to support a stronger economic recovery and bring more Australians back to work.
As part of the plan, the government will provide support for business owners to:
- increase their mental health and wellbeing
- adopt digital technologies
Supporting mental health and wellbeing
Small businesses suffer more from depression and anxiety than the general population. They are also under increased pressure due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
To address this, the Business Balance initiative will provide $7 million to support small businesses.
Business Balance will support small business owners to take steps to improve their mental health.
Business Balance will build and expand two programs:
- Beyond Blue’s NewAccess program
- Professional development program
Business Balance will start in early 2021.
Beyond Blue’s NewAccess program
Beyond Blue received $4.3 million of funding to expand their NewAccess program.
The program will provide free, accessible and tailored support for small business owners.
The program is in partnership with the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman.
Professional development program
The remaining $2.2 million will expand a free accredited professional development program.
The program builds the mental health literacy of trusted business advisers. This will allow them to support small business owners in times of distress.
Deakin University will deliver the program.
Supporting businesses to go digital
The government is continuing to support small businesses to adopt digital technology.
The JobMaker Digital Business Plan received over $19.2 million in additional funding. This will support the expansion of the Australian Small Business Advisory Services (ASBAS) Digital Solutions program.
Another $5.4 million will support:
- industry-led Digital Skills Finder platform
- Digital Readiness Assessment tool
- Digital Directors Training package