With the election now behind us and the new Morrison Coalition Federal Government in place, what does this mean for small businesses in Australia?
Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry CEO, James Pearson, said the new government offered the right mix of stability and progress, keeping some of the “most experienced Ministers in key portfolios whilst bringing in new ideas with new Ministers”.
Senator Michaelia Cash – featured in Issue 341 of Coast to Coast Australia – remains as Minister for Employment, Skills, Small & Family Business and says she’ll continue working to ensure Small Business gets the recognition and support it needs.
Mr Pearson welcomed the news, saying small business needs to remain “front of mind for the Government and the Parliament.
“The priorities are to improve workplace relations, stop the collapse in skills and get power prices down. We campaigned on these issues during the election and they remain front and centre for all business, particularly small business.
“The task ahead for the returned Federal Government is a challenging one and business wants to work closely with the new Ministry and Parliament to improve the productive capacity of the economy, our ability to withstand external economic shocks and improve our international competitiveness.
“We welcome the return of the economic team of Treasurer Josh Frydenberg and Finance Minister Mathias Cormann. They work closely with business and business is confident they understand the need to create a competitive environment for business in an economy that is strong, growing and resilient in the face of headwinds in the global and local economy.”
Going into the election, the Coalition Government described small business as the backbone of our economy and offered a variety of policies to help SMEs get ahead and create more jobs.
For businesses with a turnover of less than $50 million, the tax rate has been reduced from 30% to 27.5% and will be further reduced to 25%.
For unincorporated businesses with a turnover lower than $5 million, they have introduced a tax discount of 8% (capped at $1,000) which will increase to 16%.
INSTANT ASSET WRITE-OFF
The Instant Asset Write-Off has been extended until 30 June 2020, for assets up to $30,000.
Starting on July 1, Government will be required to pay its bills within 20 days, for contracts up to $1 million.
The Government says it will continue to cut red tape, as this was one of the biggest complaints from small businesses. Measures include a simplified Business Activity Statement and $300 million to help states and territories reduce red tape.
ACCESS TO FINANCE
Another bone of contention for Australia’s small businesses was the difficulty securing funding. A new $2 billion Australian Business Securitisation Fund is being introduced to help small businesses get funding at a better rate.
The Government is committing $100 million in funding to establish the Australian Business Growth Fund and partner with financial institutions to provide equity funding to small business.
The Export Market Development Grant scheme has been boosted by $60 million to help small and medium-sized Australian exporters. They will also benefit from the new Trans-Pacific Partnership.
Thanks to the $525 million Delivering Skills for Today and Tomorrow package, small businesses will be able to take on more apprentices in areas of skills shortages. The Government says it will create 250,000 extra jobs for young Australians.
It will also establish 10 training hubs in regional areas to connect industry and schools and expand the youth jobs PaTH program and transition to work service.