Economy, Politics

SME reaction to federal budget lukewarm but mostly positive: Survey

Dominic Powell /

Scott Morrison

Source: AAP/Dan Himbrechts

SMEs have had mixed reactions to the 2017 federal budget, but only 16% have rated it negatively, according to a survey undertaken by accounting services provider MYOB.

Out of the 230 small and medium businesses surveyed, 34% said they believe this mont’s budget was more positive than negative, but another 34% said it would have no impact on their business.

Read more: Tax changes and red tape cuts on the table as Scott Morrison “backs” small business in Budget 2017

The general positivity is likely fuelled by SMEs reaction to the 12-month extension of the $20,000 instant asset write-off scheme says MYOB chief executive Tim Reed, which 60% of businesses said they feel positive about.

“The extension has created a very positive sentiment around the Budget amongst the SME community,” Reed said in a statement.

“Considering that ahead of the Budget, 43 percent of small business owners weren’t confident it would deliver a positive outcome, it appears that policies like the tax write-off extension and company tax cuts have turned this sentiment around.”

Along with the scheme extension, Australian small businesses also reacted warmly to the previously announced tax cuts for businesses with less than $10 million in turnover, with 49% saying the policy is a good move. Additionally, 17% believe the additional funding for training programs will help skill shortages for businesses across the country.

The most controversial policy was the government’s proposed changes to 457 visas, with 12% of SMEs believing they will have a negative impact, compared to 5% who say it will be positive.

“The visa changes may cause issues for some of our small businesses, particularly for those looking for manual workers in more rural areas where potential hires are much smaller,” Reed said.

After the budget was handed down, business leaders told SmartCompany they were “pleased”, but they called for more practical solutions and ways to get consumer spending back up.

“More is needed from the government that takes into account the real smaller players — the one-man-bands, freelancers, self-employed and micro-businesses owners,” Invoice2Go founder Chris Strode told SmartCompany.

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Dominic Powell

Dominic Powell is a journalist at StartupSmart and a tech and music geek. When he’s not writing, you can find him reading or browsing record shops.

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