How the government can help small businesses with their two greatest challenges -- confidence and cash flow

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This is an excerpt from ‘Australia’s Business Challenges 2017’ — a comprehensive must-read e-book for small business owners brought to you by Bank of Queensland. Scroll down to download a copy.

Anyone who has ever run a small business knows no matter what their individual circumstances may be, it’s all about confidence and cash flow.

These are the pillars that let a business owner plan for the future, to invest and grow their vision and let the buying public know about it through the myriad channels available in today’s ever-changing and increasingly global marketplace.

Small business has long been seen as the engine room of our consumer culture. It is also a sector that resonates with how we have historically liked to see ourselves.

If we are not working in a small business or know someone personally who is, then it is the level of business we all come into contact with anyway.

These are the people who grow the food we eat, make and sell many products we love and help build the homes we live in. They may also be the businesses that help us when we are sick or in need of some serious advice.

As a consequence, the fortunes of Australia’s 2 million-plus small and medium sized businesses remain a key part of the federal budget each year. Measures to help with their long-term health are a welcome message for the nation.

When treasurer Scott Morrison handed down his second budget in May, he didn’t take long to acknowledge the challenges faced by many in recent times and signal his intentions to help.

“Small business owners have gone without to keep their businesses open,” he said in his opening remarks. “Australians have taken second jobs, where they can, so bills can be paid.”

He went on to say, however, that he believed the nation was “moving towards the end of this difficult period”. There were with signs of an improving global economy with the “potential for better days ahead” in Australia.

Coming on the heels of recently legislated company tax cuts, the promise was to “start by backing small business even further”.

But what exactly has the budget delivered for small business in the fine print and how are companies best placed to take advantage of any improvements ushered in?

For Small Business Council of Australia CEO Peter Strong, this year’s budget has built on the positive commitments from 2014-15 and 2015-16, with members giving it a “seven and a half out of 10”.

“That’s pretty high in the world of budgets,” Strong says. “We’ve got a government that’s put effort in come up with a good budget.

Australia is in a good position now – we’ve got a good economy compared to the rest of the world and we have to make sure we keep it that way. The confidence we have is very important and that’s what we have to build on.”

This is an excerpt from ‘Australia’s Business Challenges 2017’ — a comprehensive must-read e-book for small business owners brought to you by Bank of Queensland. To download a copy, fill in your details in the form below.

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