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Treasurer Frydenberg discusses SMBs ‘graduating’ from JobKeeper this month

Small business in Surrey Hills, Zimt Patisserie, we’ve been here for 10 years now and we’ve been benefiting from the JobKeeper allowance as well from the Government. it hasn’t been easy to say the least. But we have stuck it through and we’ve had a wonderful support from our local community, particularly from our customers. They have remained loyal to us. And our staff as well.

They have come through and worked hard for us at the same time as well. And we’re seeing some real benefits now from the fact that the JobKeeper helped us through and incentives from the Government as well have really given us a real optimistic view toward the fact that there is a real light at the end of the tunnel after vaccines come through.

And then we will be able to see some positive trends toward a normal life again, hopefully. Yes, that’s something I’m very optimistic about and feel like we’re always heading in the right direction as well.

JOSH FRYDENBERG:

Another Australian success story. A small business success story, having graduated off JobKeeper. Zimt Bakery is one of 450,000 small businesses and larger businesses that have graduated off JobKeeper in the month of October compared to the month prior in September.

There are some two million fewer Australian workers on JobKeeper in that month of October compared to the month prior. And Zimt had eight staff who were on JobKeeper who are no longer on JobKeeper as the customers are coming back.

And this small business, like so many others across the country, tells a story of an Australian economy that is in recovery mode. An Australian economy that is bouncing back strongly.

That’s what the Deloitte Report said today, that the Australian economy is outperforming expectations. Another example of key economic commentators affirming and confirming the trajectory of Australia’s economic recovery.

What we have seen in the November quarter was a 23 per cent increase in job vacancies. What we saw in the month of November were loan commitments for owner occupiers for the construction of new dwellings up by 7.2 per cent.

And what we saw in the month of November were retail sales numbers up by 7.1 per cent. All these numbers point in one direction, that jobs are coming back, and that the economy is picking up as restrictions are eased and as we are getting to the other side of this once-in-a-century pandemic.

This biggest economic shock that the Australian economy has had in a hundred years, effectively since the Great Depression.

We also know from economic data that came out recently that more than $7 billion has flowed through to the pockets of Australian families from our tax cuts in the last six months, and that some $200 billion has now accumulated on household balance sheets and business balance sheets.

Money that was not there this time last year, as people due to the restrictions, couldn’t go out and spend as much as they’d previously could, and also as people were cautious through the pandemic’s peak, where it meant they were saving more. But also the huge amount of economic support that has made its way from the Morrison Government to the pockets of Australian families and businesses.

And this small business benefited not just from JobKeeper, but also from the Cashflow Boost, which has seen more than $30 billion go to the pockets of Australian businesses. Today’s Deloitte Report also sees their forecasts for unemployment being lower than initially thought, and their forecasts for economic growth being higher than they initially thought.

And what Deloitte has said today is that you wouldn’t want to be in any other country in the world but Australia because we are as well positioned as any other nation for the economic recovery, and our success both on the health front and on the economic front has helped get us to this place and, as Michael said, he’s had very loyal customers, but also had terrifically hard-working and loyal staff.

And it is those staff that we have been supporting through the JobKeeper program as well as entrepreneurs, small businesses like Michael’s, which is a family-owned business and he himself is a baker of 35 years’ experience.

So we know the road ahead will still be tough. We know many Australians are doing it tough right now. We know the road ahead will be bumpy. There will be challenges. It will be difficult as we see globally, as many countries struggle with the health and the economic impacts of COVID-19.

But we also know that Australia is so well positioned for that economic recovery, and the economic data that we have seen across the country is pointing in that direction. The Deloitte Report is pointing in that direction and the success of businesses like this bakery Zimt is pointing in that direction.

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