28th March, 2022

Federal Budget 2022: 9 in 10 favour small business support

According to a recent poll from MYOB, Australians overwhelmingly agree that support for small business is critical for the nation’s ongoing economic prosperity.

Ninety per cent of Australians say support for small business will aid Australia’s economic prosperity, which should be prioritised in tomorrow’s Federal Budget, according to a new survey from leading business management platform MYOB.

The poll of more than 1,000 Australians commissioned by MYOB found a smaller number of respondents (32 percent) expect this year’s Federal Budget to deliver benefits for Australia’s small and medium enterprises (SMEs), while 94 percent said the Government should do more to support SMEs compared to bigger business.

Eighty four percent said the economy still requires government intervention to aid recovery.

The report highlights the gap that exists between Treasurer Josh Frydenberg’s stated intent to wind back COVID-era spending and the ongoing challenges faced by SMEs as a result of ongoing pandemic impacts and other natural disasters, such as current flooding events.

The measures Australians would like to see to support small business:

  • 45% want to see tax cuts
  • 42% favour specific support for businesses impacted by natural disasters
  • 38% said more mental health support is desired

Access to digital skills and tools an easy win for government

MYOB’s Chief Employee Experience Officer, Helen Lea, said it is no surprise Australians want to see more support for SMEs in this year’s Budget, and that the Government could deliver value by targeting support to digitisation initiatives.

“The contribution the 2.4 million-strong small business community makes to Australia is well known, but the landscape for businesses in Australia is now materially and indelibly changed,” said Lea.

“To create an economy that is supportive of modern business practices and enables businesses to lead their own recovery, the Government needs to help SMEs access the SaaS tools they need to both scale and thrive.”

Previous research undertaken by MYOB highlights the value supporting the digitisation of SMEs could deliver for the economy.

“MYOB analysis has found improving digitisation for the one in five SMEs with little to no digital presence will lead to a 1.8 per cent increase in SME GDP – equivalent to a $10.5 billion gain for the economy.

“Meaningful digitisation goes much deeper than an online presence, and yet there are many businesses out there who still need to make this initial leap.

“While 78 percent of our survey respondents said they expect to interact with small businesses via their website, our January 2022 MYOB Business Monitor data shows more than a third (37 percent) of SMEs don’t have an online presence.

“This highlights the importance of Government assistance to digitally upskill SMEs and achieve the nation’s goal of becoming a leading digital economy and society by 2030,” she said.

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Aussies push for greater focus on economy and climate change

Despite the Government expecting to talk to an improved economic outlook from December’s MYEFO, MYOB’s polling reveals Australians expect to see more done to improve the health of the economy, as well as addressing the impacts of climate change.

Australians’ top areas of concern in this year’s Budget:

  • 52% want greater focus placed on the health of the economy
  • 21% are looking for more funding for the environment and to tackle climate change
  • 19% said pandemic support should remain a priority
  • Just 8% are looking to see enhanced national security measures

“Tomorrow’s Budget is another opportunity for the Government to reinforce its strong commitment to small business and give business owners the confidence to invest, creating more jobs as the economy continues to recover,” said Lea.

“MYOB sees a critical moment for the Government to support the industry-led creation of micro-credentials focusing on digital business management skills as key to the Government’s support of SMEs.”

And depending one how the public feels about measures proposed in the Budget could have far-reaching impacts for the current Government’s performance in the upcoming election, which is tipped to occur in May.

“In an election year, we know Australians are watching this Budget closely, with 44 percent of respondents telling us the Budget would impact how they vote,” said Lea.

Join She’s on the Money’s Victoria Devine in unpacking key announcements from this year’s Federal Budget with the help of ASBFEO’s Bruce Billson, MYOB’s Helen Lea and Madebox’s Samantha Finnegan in a webinar scheduled to occur at 3pm AEDT, Thursday 31 March. Hosted by MYOB, you can register to attend the webinar here.