Why the 2016 Budget is good for business

| May 6, 2016

Small business has been a way of life for my family for as long as I can remember. My dad set up a small building company the year I was born, my son bought his first business 12 months ago, my daughter runs her own business, and over the years I’ve owned a number of small enterprises myself.

I know all about the long hours, the stress and the uncertainty that comes with operating a small business. I also know how satisfying it is to see your hard work pay off, and the measures outlined in the federal Budget go a long way to helping small-to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) around the country experience the satisfaction and pride of building a business and watching it thrive.

There has been plenty of air time and newspaper inches devoted to the specific measures outlined on Tuesday night, but fundamentally for small businesses, Treasurer Scott Morrison’s budget does two things. First and foremost it creates certainty for SMEs, the mum and dad business owners out there who can chart their way forward with confidence.

Second it sets out a challenge for SMEs to harness the opportunities that are now in front of them, and seize the chance to really get the ­sector firing.

By putting in place a range of measures that the SME community has asked for — reducing the tax burden, streamlining BAS reporting ­requirements, creating flexible super arrangements, increasing access to the instant asset write-off — the budget allows small businesses to go ahead and confidently make investments in terms of money, equipment and time in the long-term future of their business.

Confidence is everything in small business. This confidence leads to growth, which means more jobs, particularly for young Australians.

At a time when big businesses are increasingly downsizing or outsourcing, it’s the SMEs that are creating the new employment opportunities in Australia.

And when you consider there are three million SMEs out there, ­imagine if even a quarter of them took on just one new worker — the economic and social impact of this would be immense, the unemployment problem would be solved, and the budget has certainly laid the groundwork for more small businesses to ­invest in additional staff.

The budget has also made it easier for businesses to employ workers through the new Youth Jobs PaTH program, which provides training and work experience for young people, as well as a wage subsidy for employers who keep them on. The reality is, as the economy transitions away from the mining boom, Australia simply won’t generate the returns needed for long-term budget sustainability without a robust SME sector.

The Prime Minister talks a lot about jobs and growth; many of those jobs and much of that growth will come from SMEs. Undoubtedly, there’s a lot riding on the sector, but I’m confident that armed with the measures in the budget, SMEs will live up to their reputation as being the engine room of the economy.


This article originally appeared in the Daily Telegraph