The release of the stimulus packages around the world are designed to refurbish jaded consumer confidence and kick start a surge of demand in local and regional economies.
To some extent this is designed to become a self-fulfilling prophecy, only muted by the demands of fiscal conservatives who would prefer to see more bank collapses, foreclosure and preservation of free market principles.
The real debate is between government agencies that wish to stimulate local and small business enterprise and those that would prefer wider and longer tax cuts and bail outs for all those who have had a 10 year binge of higher interest rates at the expense of the household sector.
The package appears to have the desired effect in the Australian economy, as the largest contributor to the rise in the weekly Roy Morgan Consumer Confidence rating is Australians feeling less worried about economic conditions in Australia in the year ahead.
The Australian weekly Roy Morgan Consumer Confidence rating as at last weekend is up slightly to 96.2 (up 2.1 points), even though consumer confidence is now 19.6 points lower than it was in February 2008 (115.8).
However, a majority of Australians (54%, down 8%) remain worried about the Australian economy expecting “bad times” for Australia economically over the next 12 months compared to just 13% (up 2%) of Australians expecting “good times”.
An increasing number of Australians (46%, up 3%) say “now is a good time to buy” major household items while 30% (down 2%) of Australians say “now is a bad time to buy”.
Gary Morgan points out: “The passage of the bill ensures Australians are set to receive various cash handouts, including up to $900 for all working Australians earning under $100,000, and further handouts to farmers and families.”
Now is the time for every SME to lock up your orders. Get commitments for the growth of your operations in the coming months, and find ways to get a share of local tenders and new business opportunities. Set aside time to gather a small group to look at all the largess being handed out and see how you can get a part of it.
You could also find ways to take on a trainee and get a share of Julia Gillard’s $150 million support for skills training. This could well be the money that gets your business over the line.
Dr Colin Benjamin is Entrepreneurship and Strategic Thinking Consultant at Marshall Place Associates, which offers a range of strategic thinking tools that open up possibilities for individuals and organisations committed to applying the processes of innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship. Contact: CEO Dr Jane Shelton.
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