30 SEPTEMBER 2020: More than 8 in 10 Australians want to see SMEs a priority in next week’s Budget as 6 in 10 report closures of small businesses in their local area and half confess concerns about the future of the high street in their suburb, according to fresh data from MYOB.
MYOB commissioned a poll of more than 1,000 Australians ahead of next Tuesday’s Budget to understand the level of support they want to see for small businesses, and their concerns about the future of local retail.
The research reveals that Australians want to see more support for small business. Eighty-five per cent of those surveyed want to see strong support for small businesses in the Budget, and 76% think sole traders should be a priority. A further 44% do not believe that small businesses have received enough stimulus support through COVID, rising to 52% in Victoria and Tasmania.
Of longer-term concern, 62% are seeing businesses close in their local area and 55% are worried about the future of the high street in their local suburb.
CEO of MYOB, Greg Ellis, said there is no surprise Australians want to see more support for small business owners.
“The stimulus for small business already provided via JobKeeper and other measures has been a necessary lifeline. However, it is clear the economic impact of COVID will stretch on for much longer – particularly for businesses in the hardest hit sectors like accommodation, food services and recreation.
“People are seeing stores close in their neighbourhoods and are worried about the future of cities with the ubiquity of remote working. Sixty-five per cent of respondents said they are worried about the future of Australia’s city centres.
“Next week’s Budget is another chance for Government to show their strong commitment to small business and to give small business owners the confidence to invest and to create more jobs as the economy begins to recover,” said Mr Ellis.
Mr Ellis renewed MYOB’s call on Government to:
Mandate B2B eInvoicing with industry rollout – helping SMEs to overcome the challenges of late payments – a critical concern to 44% of Australian SMEs;
Revise online payment frameworks to protect SMEs from fraudulent liability; and
Deliver tax incentives for SMEs to increase adoption of essential digital tools.
“The adoption of digital tools has a critical role to play in SME recovery by increasing opportunities for owners and operators to grow their business and increase their cashflow. Setting up the right legislative framework that creates a smoother path to that adoption is the key.”