The role of small business in economic recovery highlighted

In the wake of World Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (WMSE) Day on Saturday, the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman Kate Carnell called on the public to acknowledge the role small businesses will play in the post-COVID economic recovery.

Speaking in an International Council for Small Business via video to mark the UN-declared occasion late last week, Carnell also called for greater support for the Australian small-business sector at this critical time.

The ASBFEO said that World MSME Day should be a reminder that there has never been a tougher time to be in business

“So many small businesses that were viable just a few months ago, are now facing enormous challenges as they try to recover from both the devastating bushfire season we had here in Australia and then this pandemic,” Carnell said.

The Ombudsman noted that the latest statistics from the Australian Bureau of Statistics reveal the extent of the pressure small businesses are experiencing at the moment, with two-thirds of businesses reporting a decrease in revenue compared to last year. Of those businesses, roughly three in 10 estimate that revenue has fallen by more than 50 per cent.

“As we start to see restrictions lifting and many small businesses opening their doors again and ramping up, it is vital small businesses are supported in their efforts to innovate and grow,” Carnell said.

“That’s why my office has produced a comprehensive COVID-19 Recovery Plan recommending a suite of reforms to help small businesses survive and thrive in the post-COVID recovery phase. Our Recovery Plan aims to restart the Australian economy by getting people back to work and building economic confidence. After all, small business is the cornerstone of economic activity employing more than half of the workforce,” she added.

“The recommendations cover a broad range of areas including taxation, access to justice, industrial relations, government procurement and cutting red tape,” Carnell said. “Ultimately the plan provides the framework to build essential support for Australian small businesses which is a good way to get the economy firing on all cylinders again.”

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