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A budget that gives small business a fighting chance to lead the national job restoration task

COSBOA welcomes the 2020 Federal Budget. As the first budget since the bushfires and the coronavirus pandemic, it offers economic recovery measures that will give small business owners a reason to feel more confident about the future.

COSBOA CEO Peter Strong said “this is the budget we needed to have and there are some great things in it for small business people.”

Some specific initiatives that COSBOA is happy about include:

· The expansion of the instant asset write-off

· Further spending on JobKeeper

· The JobMaker Hiring Credit

· A wage subsidy for apprentices and trainees

· Income tax cuts

· Tax concessions that small business owners have never had access to before

· Funding for a small business mental health program

· Changes to insolvency laws

· Changes to lending laws.

There also appear to be some measures addressing the harvest trail problem. COSBOA will study this aspect of the budget further before commenting.

Mr Strong added “this budget sets the scene for what’s to come. At the start of the pandemic we were treading water with JobKeeper and JobSeeker as we learnt what this new world entailed. This budget is an important next step in developing ways to adapt to our new world. We will have another budget in 7 months’ time, giving an opportunity to fine-tune what’s being implemented, including how it’s being delivered.”

Mr Strong cautioned “what’s been announced won’t work if there isn’t place-based support in its implementation. We can’t just run these big picture programs from Canberra, Sydney or Melbourne. We need people on the ground in local communities to be involved and empowered.

“This should include an employment service in local communities, a service that helps people from day one of being unemployed and connects them to training opportunities. The employment service also must help connect business communities to the development of infrastructure and job creation.

“COSBOA notes that in this recession there could be between 300,000 and 600,000 people who have never experienced being unemployed before. We need to let them know that there is support and it is ongoing.”

Mr Strong further added “rent assistance for small business is needed, and this is one thing we are disappointed about in the budget. COSBOA is recommending the Canadian Model, which involves the Government paying a business’ remaining rent as a forgivable loan to its landlords. We should of course investigate whether it is suitable for the Australian market.”

More detail on COSBOA’s position on the budget is available in a communique which you can read here.



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