Govt establishes small business taskforce


By Dylan Bushell-Embling
Friday, 24 November, 2017


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The federal government has established a new small business taskforce aimed at helping Australian small businesses thrive in the digital economy.

The government has engaged serial entrepreneur Mark Bouris to lead the taskforce, which will seek to impress the benefits of adopting digital technologies on small businesses across the country. Bouris is the founder of Wizard Home Loans and Yellow Brick Road.

It will achieve this through a series of meetings, workshops and hackathons designed to explore impediments for business in engaging with digital technologies and how to address these challenges.

Deloitte research has found that small businesses with a high digital engagement are 1.5 times more likely to be growing revenue, eight times more likely to be creating jobs and 14 times more likely to be innovating.

“Small business is at the heart of the Australian economy — 3.2 million small businesses employ around 50% of Australia’s workforce, or around 5.6 million Australians. But many are not taking advantage of the opportunities that the digital economy offers,” Treasurer Scott Morrison said.

“If we empower small businesses to digitise and streamline their operations, the economy benefits through an increase in productivity and through job creation. Everyone wins.”

The government has meanwhile moved to ensure small business suppliers of goods and services to government agencies are paid faster, shaving 10 days from the time required to pay for smaller deals. Invoices and contracts worth up to $1 million will now need to be paid within 20 days.

Minister for Small Business Malcolm McCormack said 6800 Australian small businesses work with the Commonwealth.

“The government is already a proud leader in terms of payment times and practices, with the latest Pay On-Time survey showing Commonwealth agencies paid 97% of their invoices within 30 days,” he said in a statement.

“Our new payment benchmark will set an example to industry and to other levels of government. It will establish a new payment culture within Australia — a culture that recognises small business should not be used as a bank.”

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/denphumi

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