Oct 07, 2020

Small business looks past budget for further relief

Small business looks past budget for further relief

The Council of Small Business Organisation Australia (COSBOA) has welcomed the 2020 Federal Budget saying it offered economic recovery measures that would give small business owners a reason to feel more confident about the future. 

But there were qualifications including the lack of rent assistance for small business.

It was the budget we needed to have, said COSBOA CEO Peter Strong.

Some specific initiatives that COSBOA said was constructive included:  

  • The expansion of the instant asset write-off
  • Further spending on JobKeeper 
  • The JobMaker Hiring Credit
  • A wage subsidy for apprentices and trainees 
  • Income tax cuts
  • Tax concessions that small business owners have never had access to before 
  •  Funding for a small business mental health program
  • Changes to insolvency laws 
  • Changes to lending laws.   

The budget set the scene for what was to come, said Mr Strong.

“This budget is an important next step in developing ways to adapt to our new world,” he said.

“We will have another budget in seven months’ time, giving an opportunity to fine-tune what’s being implemented, including how it’s being delivered.” 

Mr Strong said the ‘big picture programs’ needed to be run as close as possible to where the are implemented.

“What’s been announced won’t work if there isn’t place-based support in its implementation,” he said.

“We can’t just run these big picture programs from Canberra, Sydney or Melbourne. We need people on the ground in local communities to be involved and empowered.  

“This should include an employment service in local communities, a service that helps people from day one of being unemployed and connects them to training opportunities.

“The employment service also must help connect business communities to the development of infrastructure and job creation.

“COSBOA notes that in this recession there could be between 300,000 and 600,000 people who have never experienced being unemployed before. We need to let them know that there is support and it is ongoing.” 

Rent assistance for small business was also needed said Mr Strong.

“This is one thing we are disappointed about in the budget. COSBOA is recommending the Canadian Model, which involves the Government paying a businesses’ remaining rent as a forgivable loan to its landlords.

“We should of course investigate whether it is suitable for the Australian market.”