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We thank you 2016 and welcome 2017 with hope and some fear.

There is no doubt 2016, medications an election year, web was a year of outcomes for the small business people in Australia. It also threw up some new issues that we need to confront, sales particularly around the rights of the self-employed.

In 2016 the government continued its good work of 2015 and focused on growth for the economy through small business people with the key themes on “Jobs and Growth” as well as “Innovation and Agility”. The Council of Small Business of Australia and its members can celebrate our role in gaining this focus and in converting our policy needs into outcomes.

As a result our economy is now better placed to build on the innovation statement and support the people who do the innovation, employ others and add to productivity.

It will take several years to turn the budget deficit into a surplus but that has a better chance of happening with small business people free to start up, innovate and grow. There will always be other hurdles and we will continue the good fight, but we should also celebrate success.

This focus on our sector certainly does not mean all small businesses are well off but it does provide motivation to develop new products and processes.

Michael McCormack as the new minister responsible for small business, has started well and we look forward to 2017 with confidence. The fact that he is not in cabinet is a big disappointment and means his job will be harder. We will fight to have the small business portfolio back in cabinet as a stand alone ministers role.

On the less positive side the election certainly went on too long and created more uncertainty but we have dealt with a hung parliament and complexity before and we have no choice but to do so again.

More concerning and a disappointing end to the year was the court decision against the ACCC in their action against Woolworths and their appalling grab of other businesses’ profits to cover there own shortcomings.

There is still a major war happening around competition and 2017 will see an escalation of that war. A handful of dominant big businesses and their unions have become true parasites on society and we will confront them.

We will also hound businesses that do not embrace professional and ethical behaviours whether that be in following the workplace relations regulations or paying their bills on time.

See more on 2016 and what we want from 2017- 2016 pdf.

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