Small Business Digital Taskforce submits report to Government

| May 13, 2018

The Small Business Digital Taskforce, charged with ensuring the nation’s 2.1 million small businesses make the most of digital technology, has handed its final report to the Treasurer, Scott Morrison, and the Minister for Small and Family Business, Craig Laundy.

The Government is considering the report and its recommendations and will make a statement in due course.

Chaired by Mr Mark Bouris AO, the taskforce was set up to identify the opportunities to small business from increasing their participation in the digital economy.

“Many small businesses are delaying, ignoring or simply are unaware of the opportunities that digital technologies may offer them,” Mr Bouris said.

“There is a lot going on out there to support small business but much of it is uncoordinated and this makes it challenging for a small business owner to navigate through.

“Over four months, members of the  taskforce talked with suppliers and vendors of digital solutions, met with a variety of state and federal government agencies, and heard the views of dozens of industry associations and small businesses and drew on extensive user-centred research.”

Mr Bouris said the taskforce believed there was an opportunity to better coordinate the digital advice and support that is provided to small businesses and to leverage the existing trusted adviser relationship small businesses already have with their accountants and industry associations.

Minister Laundy, who was a member of the taskforce, drew on his family business background to provide insight into the challenges that many small businesses face when adopting digital technologies.

“I get that change scares people, but this is a change that we have to communicate to small and family businesses that if you adopt and embrace digital technologies, there are not only productivity and profitability gains but hopefully you’ll get more time to spend on the things that matter to you,” Minister Laundy said.

As part of the taskforce’s work, 11 video case studies were developed of businesses that are taking advantage of digital technologies.

They include a Melbourne solar panel business, a Canberra plumber, a Berrima winemaker, a Brisbane pool products wholesaler, a Wollongong arborist, a Sydney-based mobile hair dresser and an accountant from Toowoomba.