MYOB's latest survey of small and medium enterprises has found support for certain measures in the federal budget.
The latest SME Snapshot survey found that 56 percent of small and medium enterprises welcomed lowering the company tax rate to 27.5 percent for businesses with up to $10 million in revenue.
The MYOB survey also found 72 percent of respondents thought growth would be encouraged through widening the definition of a small business from $2 million revenue to $10 million, while 50 percent supported extending eligibility for the $20,000 instant tax write-off to these higher-revenue companies.
"It's encouraging to see these barriers to growth removed,” said MYOB CEO Tim Reed. “The previous system discouraged SMEs to grow beyond $2 million in revenue because they lose the benefits of being a small business. Small businesses often rely on bigger businesses as customers – without stimulating investment in bigger business, small businesses won't receive the positive flow on effect."
Somewhat surprisingly, only 47 percent were in favour of the reduction in the number of GST codes from seven to three as part of the BAS simplification trial. It's hard to see why more weren't, as fewer codes reduce the risk of incorrectly classifying a transaction, and the extra codes never provided any benefit for the business itself.
The PaTH (Prepare, Trial, Hire) internship scheme was relatively well received, with 31 percent of SMEs indicating they were likely or very likely to consider hiring a job seeker through this program.
"If just a small portion of Australia's two million SMEs took part in this new initiative and consider hiring a young Australian it will be a big success,” said Reed. “There are nearly a quarter of a million young Australians out of work, so it is great to see SMEs becoming part of the solution to youth unemployment."
Unfortunately, Department of Industry figures indicate that could be a big ask. Small businesses represent around 95 percent of all businesses, but according to department about 60 percent of all active businesses don't employ anyone. So if there are two million small businesses, that leaves about three-quarters of a million employing small businesses. One in every three of these would need to hire an extra person to soak up that pool of unemployed young Australians.
It seems most likely that businesses with five to 19 employees are in a better position to take on a new worker than their smaller counterparts. If so, then all of those approximately 210,000 businesses need to take on an extra young worker.
"With millennials set to define the future of the Australian workforce, we encourage small businesses to be a part of this internship program, and do what they can to create opportunities for the younger generation," said Reed.