The Council of Small Business of Australia is going on a fact-finding mission to determine exactly how energy prices are affecting small businesses across the country.
The peak body for Australian small businesses has secured a grant from Energy Consumers Australia, along with seed funding from the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman’s office, to conduct the research, which has kicked off with an online survey.
The research will be used to inform the COSBOA’s advocacy on the issue, included in its interactions with the federal government, with case studies uncovered by the project to be presented at Council’s National Summit in Sydney next month.
There’s growing anecdotal evidence that consistently high energy prices are taking a toll on small businesses, and last year, a report from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission found high energy network costs have put “unacceptable pressure” on consumers and small businesses when it comes to paying their power bills.
However, the ACCC report also indicated that it is harder to track exactly how much power bills have increased for small businesses, compared to the consumer market.
COSBOA chief executive Peter Strong tells SmartCompany this research project is really about “getting the facts”.
“We want to find out what is happening out there,” he says.
“If it’s not happening, it’s not happening.”
Strong says the research will also inform the way COSBOA works with small businesses and energy suppliers, and highlight what tools and resources may be needed by the small business community.
“We want to get out there and manage it properly, and manage the emotion and ideology too,” he says.
To complete the COSBOA small business and energy costs survey, click here.
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