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When the bubble bursts

Is it just me, or are Aussie SME businesses becoming the ‘forgotten’ majority?

We’re constantly hearing that the Australian economy is performing – but we know it’s being inflated by the mining industry. What we really have is a two-speed economy, with big business and the mining sector rocking along nicely, while the average Aussie business struggles with an increasing compliance burden and cautious consumer spending.

In fact, according to the latest MYOB Business Monitor, released last week, Aussie SMEs are facing a real crisis of confidence – with revenue flat-lining, and only modest increases in sales expectations. A three-pronged attack – from interest rate hikes, skyrocketing fuel prices and uncertainty over tax reforms on – is blamed for the slump in confidence. And with more rate rises, a flood levy, a carbon tax and increased superannuation on the way, there is little reason for Aussie businesses to see the upside of a slowing recovery for some time to come.

The struggles of Aussie SMEs are being masked by the mining boom. The concern is what happens when the mining bubble bursts? The economy will fall back on its real engine room, Aussie SMEs. And if Aussie SMEs are hurting, the economy is hurting.

Where is the leadership to support and encourage the SME sector from the Federal & State Governments? To date, we’ve seen very little in the way of policy or initiatives that will genuinely making business life easier. Our SME business owners have in fact been ‘forgotten’.

So for those in government, here is a little reminder on behalf of 96% of all businesses in Australia ― may we please have lower small business tax rate that is available to every businesses (not just the minority that have a company structure) and a simplified BAS system and increased access to business finance!

How is business for you? Are you noticing the effects of a two-speed economy? What benefits do you think the Gillard Government could deliver to address the two-speed economy? What policies or changes do you think need to be made to make business life easier for you?

What do you think?

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Julian Smith

Julian Smith

Julian Smith is responsible for MYOB’s corporate affairs, government and public relations in Australia and New Zealand and is also New Zealand general manager. The qualified lawyer has spent much of his career at large multinationals in a range of senior legal, sales, marketing and customer management roles. Julian is a regular keynote speaker and business commentator and sits on a number of government and industry boards and advisory panels. Julian can be found on Twitter <a href="http://www.twitter.com/JulianTSmith">@JulianTSmith</a> or contacted via email Julian.smith@myob.com

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