Rebuilding confidence: small business is the cornerstone of economic activity

The Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman Kate Carnell says small businesses should be acknowledged for the critical role they will play in the post-COVID economic recovery.

Speaking in an International Council for Small Business video marking the UN-declared day, Ms Carnell says the Australian small business sector needs to be supported as it emerges from this global crisis.

“On World MSME Day, it’s important to recognise there has never been a tougher time to be in business,” Ms Carnell says.

“So many small businesses that were viable just a few months ago, are now facing enormous challenges as they try to recover from both the devastating bushfire season we had here in Australia and then this pandemic.

“The latest statistics from the Australian Bureau of Statistics reveal the extent of the pressure small businesses are under right now. Two-thirds of businesses reported a decrease in revenue compared to last year. Of those businesses, roughly three in ten estimate that revenue has fallen by more than 50%.

“As we start to see restrictions lifting and many small businesses opening their doors again and ramping up, it is vital small businesses are supported in their efforts to innovate and grow.

“That’s why my office has produced a comprehensive COVID-19 Recovery Plan recommending a suite of reforms to help small businesses survive and thrive in the post-COVID recovery phase.

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“Our Recovery Plan aims to restart the Australian economy by getting people back to work and building economic confidence – after all, small business is the cornerstone of economic activity – employing more than half of the workforce.

“The recommendations cover a broad range of areas including taxation, access to justice, industrial relations, government procurement and cutting red tape.

“Ultimately the plan provides the framework to build essential support for Australian small businesses which is a good way to get the economy firing on all cylinders again.”

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