We’ve seen multiple examples in the media today of the pressures on small businesses, from soaring wage costs to supply chain pressures. The National Retail Association warns that these pressures are simply unsustainable.
We welcome the suggestion from the Assistant Minister for Competition, Charities and Treasury, Andrew Leigh, that the Federal Government is willing to work with businesses to examine and address supply chain issues, to ease cost pressures.
We also welcome the Albanese Government’s foreshadowed crackdown on anti-competitive behaviour.
However, these measures will be completely undermined if the Reserve Bank continues to hike interest rates.
Small businesses are at their most vulnerable right now, and there is a real prospect that many will not survive if they can’t keep up with rising costs or afford to attract and retain good employees.
They need as much support as possible to compete and survive, so these commitments from the Federal Government are very welcome.
We call on the Reserve Bank to ease the pace of interest rate increases so they can judge the impact of previous increases, and to give small businesses a chance to catch their breath.
Driving small operators out of business through high-interest rates will have the opposite effect to what is intended – it will reduce competition and increase prices for consumers.