There’s no doubt about it: the upcoming Federal election is making people nervous. But, according to a new survey by Deloitte and Westpac, it could also be impacting investment and job creation.
The survey notes that many Australian small businesses have put off making important business decisions until after the election. Whilst this makes sense in some respects, it can also have a detrimental effect on the economy and job market.
The Westpac Small Business Report says at least half of all Australian small businesses are worried about the outcome of the election and are putting crucial staffing issues on hold. The reason that this is a worry is that this country’s small business sector is responsible for around 40% of the new jobs created.
In addition, small businesses invest around $530 million every month so, with that investment on hold, it could have damaging effects on our economy. Coming at a time of slow economic growth and a housing downturn, it is not the best scenario.
That said, the Report states that the more profitable and successful businesses appear to be operating as normal. 56% of businesses surveyed said the election was not affecting their decision-making. Around the same number said they were also continuing to invest.
After studying the results of the survey, Westpac said it was clear that small businesses wanted reduced energy costs, more tax cuts, less regulation and an increase in small business grants. Some businesses said they were unaware of the available grants, or the application process was too difficult and time-consuming.
What we do know is that with millions of small businesses operating in Australia, they have a more powerful voice than they may think. Interestingly, about a third of young working Australians are employed by SMEs, and 40% of the country’s apprentices. Appealing to all employer and employee groups, therefore, poses a tricky situation for all the political parties.
Workplace relations is clearly an election issue, with the minimum wage debate hotting up as we head towards 18 May. Currently sitting at $18.93/hour before tax, SMEs say any increase would have a significant effect on their Profit & Loss.
The provision of skilled labour is another hot issue with businesses demanding more government investment in apprenticeships.
We don’t have long to wait to what happens at the 2019 Australian Federal Election, so watch this space.
This article was written by Xcllusive. Want to know more about investing in a business or when to sell your business? Get in touch with a Chan & Naylor office here. We’ll connect you to an Xcllusive expert consultant.
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