Small businesses’ contribution to post-COVID recovery highlighted

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Commonwealth Bank’s Group Executive for Business Banking Mike Vacy-Lyle has highlighted the fact that the ongoing growth and success of the small-business sector is helping drive forward Australia’s post-COVID economic recovery.

In his address at the recent SmallBiz Week Business Leaders Luncheon in Melbourne, Vacy-Lyle said that despite ongoing challenges facing the small-business sector – including inflation, supply chain issues and interest rate increases – Australia has plenty of positive momentum.

“Small businesses truly are the backbone of the Australian economy, representing more than 95 per cent of all businesses, employing around 45 per cent of all Australians, and accounting for approximately 35 per cent of our economic output,” Vacy-Lyle said. “While the pandemic has affected all facets of our economy and community, I know small business – particularly those here in Melbourne – weathered extraordinary conditions to stay afloat.

“Our CBA credit and debit card data shows spending is up, with in-store purchases recovering even as online spending remains strong,” Vacy-Lyle added. “While there are headwinds hitting Australian businesses, there is also a renewed sense of optimism across the business community. I am confident in the bright future ahead.”

Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman, Bruce Billson also delivered a presentation during the event, which highlighted a “quiet renaissance” in entrepreneurship.

Vacy-Lyle also noted that business investment looks set to grow and public sector capital spending has remained strong in Victoria and NSW.

“There are two key areas that we’re focusing on right now,” Vacy-Lyle said. “The first is giving small businesses faster and easier access to funding. The second is reimagining the digital experience for our small business customers. My focus for my team is on mobilising capital for small business and going beyond just traditional banking to providing unique, new digital offerings that help businesses to do business.”