Small businesses in Australia are being discouraged from expanding by the country’s economic uncertainty, red tape, increasing energy and tax costs and skill shortages. Small business owners are not confident about what will happen in the economy and they worry about political instability.
Most small to medium enterprises believe that Australia is a good place to do business but almost half of them are held back from expanding because of economic uncertainty.
They also feel the burden of the complexity in dealing with different tax systems and regulations, saying the paper work is consuming too much time from them.
Small business owners reportedly spend about 265 hours a year on red tape and compliance such as payroll, occupational, health and safety regulations. They know that 90% of government revenue come from payroll, pay-as-you-go and goods & services tax. There are about 120 different forms of taxation.
Small businesses are also concerned about the shortage of people with skills and trade experience they need. Some big car manufacturers have already closed but there is still a need for specialised training in advanced manufacturing, transport, telecommunications, health and services sectors in Australia.
Graduates seem to be not job ready with no adaptability, service orientation and self-motivation skills.
The abolition of 457 visas has an impact in industries relying on migrant workers to provide skills they could not find locally. Owners consider closing doors not really because of declining profit but because they are feeling burned out.
The government needs to converse with the private and education sectors to solve regulation, tax, energy prices and skill shortage. Business owners are enthusiastic, ambitious and have great ideas but it is getting harder for them.
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