On the occasion of National Family Business day at the end of last week, the State Small Business Commissioners and the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman came together to further the current collaborative efforts to support the country’s small-business community.
The National Small Business Commissioners Forum discussed the ongoing pandemic and the challenges different sectors are facing because of this crisis. In recognising the outstanding contributions of health professionals and clinicians throughout this pandemic, the group are also seeking to raise awareness and highlight the circumstances of enterprising people who drive and lead our small-business economy.
“These are challenging times for our community, and particularly so for our small and family business operators,” the officials said in a statement. “Government, private sector and community support has and continues to be vital for many small and family businesses.
“As Australia considers the pathways out of COVID and beyond, we urge policymakers, the private sector and customers to continue their support for small businesses as so many have been doing,” the statement added.
The officials outlined the following measures that are seen as crucial in the recovery of Australia’s small businesses:
- The dependable implementation of recovery plans to provide some predictability and certainty for the small-business community in a period of many unavoidable unknowns. They stressed that small businesses need clarity and have a say in the implementation of the recovery plans.
- Ensuring payment times remain as short as possible, to support small businesses that are facing cashflow challenges.
- Valuable support policies and programs that prioritise timely delivery and recognise the resource constraints of small business by simplifying access to those supports.
- Ensuring that rules and advice are considerate of small-business capability and resources, such as having in place clear and dependable instructions without in-house regulatory and compliance expertise.
“These actions acknowledge that small businesses and family enterprises have borne a disproportionate share of economic hardship arising from COVID-19,” the statement continued. “This has and continues to impact not just on business survival and the employment that depends on it, but on the personal finances of business owners that so often are the ‘back up’ liquidity in a smaller business. To the small businesses of Australia, we see you, and value and respect your enterprise, passion, commitment and vital contribution.”