Half of Australians think budget support for SMEs adequate

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg. Source: AAP/Lukas Coch.

Almost half of Australians believe this month’s federal budget provided adequate support for the nation’s small and medium businesses, according to research conducted the day after the budget and provided exclusively to SmartCompany

The research conducted by Pureprofile asked a nationally representative sample of more than 1000 Australians if the 2021 federal budget did enough to support SMEs. 

Nearly 50% of respondents (49%) said they believe the budget provided adequate support, while almost one-fifth (18%) said funding for SMEs is inadequate. One third of respondents said they were unsure if SMEs received enough support from this year’s budget measures. 

Men were more likely to say budget funding for SMEs was adequate, at 57%, while 44% of women surveyed felt the same. A higher proportion of respondents aged 18-24 years said they believe budget funding for SMEs was inadequate (23%), compared to those aged 35-49 (15%). 

This year’s budget included a smorgasbord of funding measures for SMEs, including a 12-month extension to the massive asset write-off scheme and loss carry-back provisions, additional funding for JobTrainer and apprenticeships, a new franchise disclosure registry and funding for a marketing campaign to encourage Australians to support their local small businesses, the details of which are yet to be announced. 

The research also asked respondents to nominate areas in which the government could provide more support for SMEs. The top three responses were: additional support for apprentices and trainees; personal income tax cuts; and changing the company tax rate. 

Some respondents also nominated policies to address the gender pay gap, however, this response was given by more women than men (26% versus 21%). It was the same for changes to paid parental leave, with 25% of women supporting this option, compared to 18% of men.

More generally, close to half of the survey respondents (48%) said they believe the government has adequately supported SMEs in the past year, while 20% said the government has not done enough and 23% said they were unsure. 

As with the question related to budget funding, there was some difference between responses from men and women. Of the men who responded to the survey, 55% thought the government support was adequate, compared to 43% of women. 

The Pureprofile research was conducted on May 12, 2021. Of those surveyed, only 17% reported working for a small or medium business. 

Do you believe the federal government has done enough to support SMEs through the pandemic and in this year’s budget? Leave a comment below.

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