Business owners unaware of Commercial Ready cut

A new survey of Australian small business owners suggests many are unaware of government grants schemes they could use to claim financial assistance worth tens of thousands of dollars.

A new survey of Australian small business owners suggests many are unaware of government grants schemes they could use to claim financial assistance worth tens of thousands of dollars.

The Commercial Ready scheme, for many years a key source of support for innovative small and medium sized business, was abolished in this year’s federal budget.

But according to a survey of close to 1700 small business owners by financial software firm MYOB, the vast majority had never heard of Commercial Ready and were unaware it had been cut.

Just 14% of business owners were familiar with Commercial Ready, and even fewer (8%) said they were aware that the program was no longer operating.

Given that Commercial Ready was among the most high profile business support programs, the result suggests most business owners are in the dark on the other state and federal schemes – numbering more than 100 – they could be eligible for.

The demise of several business programs in this year’s budget appears to caused some pain for the sector. Before the budget, 91% of proprietors felt it would either have a positive or no impact on their business, but post-budget that number had dropped to 58%.

Almost 25% of business owners surveyed said the budget had a negative impact on their business, up from the 5% who predicted a negative impact pre-budget.

The number of small business owners who believe that the Federal Government is making a very poor contribution to small business has also increased, up from 44% in March to 56% in June.

But it appears small business policy is just one among a number of factors that feed into owners’ voting decisions. Despite the shift in attitudes triggered by the budget, 36% said they would vote for the Liberal Party and 24% for Labor if an election were held last month, largely unchanged from June last year.

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