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This week, a new national not-for-profit body was established to represent the interest of SMEs around the country, the Carbon Tax legislation passed through the lower house of Parliament, Australia Post announced a range of service upgrades to cope with a rise in the number of parcels being sent around the country and the iPhone 4S launched onto the Australian market.

Crust Pizza co-founders celebrate milestone

The co-founders behind the successful Crust Pizza franchise, Michael Logos and Costa Anastasiadis, celebrated a double milestone last week, opening their 100th store in Queensland and marking the 10th anniversary of their business.

Crust’s 100th store opened in the Gold Coast suburb of Robina last Friday, following a launch party the night before which was attended by Dynamic Business as well as a number of Gold Coast personalities and sports stars, including Scott Prince.

SMEs welcome new support body

A new, national not-for-profit (NFP) body has been established to represent SMEs around the country, promising to deliver group buying facilities, professional advice and networking opportunities to its members.

The SME Association of Australia (SMEAA) officially launched late last week, and will offer a range of benefits to its members. It aims to reach 10,000 new members by the end of 2012 and 50,000 by 2017.

Bunnings wins customer service accolade

Bunnings Warehouse has taken out the top honour at the inaugural International Customer Service Professionals awards (ISCP), thanks to its delivery on a range of customer service fronts.

Bunnings beat out a number of other major retailers and service providers to scoop the ‘People’s Choice Award’, which was announced on Friday 7 October to mark the end of International Customer Service Week.

Facebook introduces iPad app

Facebook finally launched its iPad app on Tuesday, which developers say delivers the full Facebook experience to right to users’ fingertips.

“Many of you have been asking about Facebook for iPad,” Facebook mobile engineer Leon Dubinsky said.

“Today, it’s finally here. With the iPad app, you get the full Facebook experience, right at your fingertips. It’s a fun, colorful way to keep up with friends, share photos, chat and more.”

Australia Post upgrades services to cope with online shopping boom

Australia Post announced a raft of updates to its services earlier in the week, as it attempts to keep pace with the impact the sharp rise in online shopping is having on the number of parcels sent around the country.

Australia Post said it’s seen a 10.9 percent rise in parcel volumes over the last financial year, a figure directly linked to Australians taking up online shopping.

Business conditions rise, experts hope for stabilising economy

Business conditions recovered slightly last month, according to the NAB’s monthly business survey, as many organisations begin to benefit from rising sales, the lower dollar and potential interest rate cuts.

After edging down over the previous two months, conditions recovered by a solid five points in September, lifting out of negative territory to +2 index points.

Carbon Tax passes through lower house

“It’s been a difficult debate but the debate is now concluded,” Prime Minister Julia Gillard said on Wednesday as the climate change bills were passed in the lower house of Parliament.

The $23-a-tonne carbon tax is set to start in mid-2012 before transforming into a true ETS in mid-2015, according to AAP.

ACCC puts big supermarkets on notice

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has the market power of Coles and Woolworths in its sights, warning it will be watching for any “unconscionable conduct” when it comes to negotiating supply arrangements.

Chairman Rod Sims issued the warning during an address at the Melbourne Press Club, saying the market power of the two major supermarkets leaves many smaller suppliers feeling they have no real ability to negotiate supply arrangements.

Unemployment rate falls to 5.2 percent

Unemployment made a surprise fall last month, slipping 0.1 percent as the number of people employed in full-time and part-time work jumped.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), the unemployment rate is sitting at 5.2 percent, falling from 5.3 percent the month previous, despite the fact economists had tipped it to remain steady.

Optus celebrates iPhone 4S launch with reduced repayments

The iPhone 4S officially launched in Australia this morning, with Optus celebrating by detailing reduced handset repayments on its $59 cap.

Optus is now selling the iPhone 4S in both black and white, offering the 16GB for free on the $59 cap, the 32GB model for $6 per month and the 64GB model for $11 per month.

Apple revealed earlier in the week that iPhone 4S orders had topped one million in just 24 hours, far surpassing its previous single day pre-order record of 600,000 held by the iPhone 4.

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Lorna Brett

Lorna Brett

Lorna was Dynamic Business’ Social Web Editor in 2011/12. She’s a social media obsessed journalist, who has a passion for small business. Outside the 9 to 5, you’re likely to find her trawling the web for online bargains, perfecting her amateur photography skills or enjoying one too many cappucinos. You can follow her on <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/dynamicbusiness">Twitter @DynamicBusiness</a>

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