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In the wake of yesterday’s Carbon Tax announcement, the Council of Small Business of Australia (COSBOA) has said it will do its best to ensure the scheme doesn’t disadvantage small business owners in time or cost.

COSBOA said it wouldn’t be entering into the debate as to whether a carbon tax is needed, as small business owners will make their own decision about the scheme when it comes time to vote.

Executive Director Peter Strong said small business has been acknowledged as an important sector in Australia.

“We welcome our share of the $40 million in funding for communications, and from the perspective of the small business community we can now develop detailed modelling of how the tax will affect different small businesses as well as case studies and information for small business to help in business planning.”

Strong said COSBOA will endeavour to develop better information to stop confusion and help people focus on their businesses.

“We also note the guarantee that there will be no new forms to fill out and no new compliance and we will monitor the process to make sure it remains that way.”

COSBOA’s main concern about the proposed tax is the chance that big landlords and other large businesses might use it as an opportunity to gouge small business tenants and customers.

“Westfield, Centro and the like will be looking to not only pass increased power costs onto their tenants but they will also add handling and other fees. Any cost increases to large anchor tenants such as Coles and Woolworths, K-mart and Myers will also be lower so that the gap in the two speed economy will increase,” Strong said.

“Small businesses will find it more difficult to pass on increased prices while big business can absorb any costs. We need to have the ACCC focused on the behaviour of these big businesses and make sure that small businesses do not become less competitive due to predatory pricing and behaviour,” he added.

Strong also noted concern about the appointment of Bernie Fraser as chair of the new Climate Change Authority, given his lack of experience in the small business sector.

“We expect that at least three people who are cognisant of the needs of small business are appointed to Mr Fraser’s committee to assist him in understanding our issues.”

“COSBOA believes that the effect of the tax on small business needs to be continually assessed sector by sector. We need to ensure that small business, the heart of the economy, is not disadvantaged in any way by this new tax,” Strong added.

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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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