5 ways the Federal Budget may benefit your business
An overview of the Federal Budget
The Treasurer delivered the Federal Budget on Tuesday 25 October 2022. With a focus on ‘building a better future’, the Budget’s key themes include:
- Cost of living relief
- Responsible spending
- Creating a stronger, more resilient modern economy.
In keeping with these key themes, the areas of investment announced by the Treasurer will include connectivity, workforce, security, sustainability, and mental health and wellbeing.
How the Federal Budget focuses on small business
As reported by the Government in their Budget summary, small businesses employ more than 5 million Australians and are the backbone of many communities. However, as many business owners are aware, difficult business conditions have required small businesses to be exceptionally adaptable and resilient of late.
According to the Budget summary, that is why the Government is committed to delivering on what it refers to as its “Better Deal for Small Business”, an initiative that includes:
- strengthening unfair contract term protections
- collaborating with the small business community to address opportunities and challenges including through September's Jobs and Skills Summit.
How will this Budget help to benefit small business?
Council of Small Business Organisations Australia (COSBOA) rated the Budget 7 out of 10 for small businesses. Former COSBOA CEO Alexi Boyd said, “This budget delivers benefits for small business owners and sole traders in four key areas, namely: improved internet connectivity, small business mental health support, cost of living improvements to childcare support, and VET and skills planning.”
Five ways the Budget may benefit your small business
When it comes to how the Budget may help your business this financial year, there’s a lot to unpack. So, keep reading for key Budget takeaways you may want to remember.
Investments will be made in NBN and mobile connectivity
The Government has announced a $2.4 million investment in NBN Co that will extend fibre access to 1.5 million more premises, which may be welcome news to businesses using solutions that rely on internet connectivity.
Business-grade fibre can offer a reliable, fast network performance for your website, payments solutions, collaboration tools or cloud solutions such as accounting software.
Increased fibre availability may be particularly relevant to you if:
- your business uses critical applications
- you need to access real-time data, or
- your team wants a smooth experience for online collaboration, calls and video.
There will be a focus on workforce participation and skills development
The Budget includes measures intended to address challenges in the labour market. The measures aim to support workforce participation and develop the skills Australian needs for its future workforce.
Supporting workforce participation of parents and older Australians
To support women’s workforce participation and help advance gender equality, the Government announced $4.7 billion to be invested over four years to deliver cheaper childcare for 1.26 million families.
An additional boost to the Work Bonus Income Bank has also been designed to give older Australians the option to work and keep more of their pension. And an expansion of the permanent migration program is also expected to help address skills shortages.
Developing the skills required for Australia’s future workforce
The TAFE sector will receive a $50 million TAFE Technology Fund to TAFEs across Australia. To further support skills building, the Government is delivering 480,000 fee-free TAFE and community-based vocational education places over four years.
CPA Australia, one of the world's largest accounting bodies, recently revealed that one in three Australian businesses consider the skills shortage to be a major barrier to their digital transformation.
Investing in the development of digital skills today is key to reaping the benefits offered by digital solutions in the future. You can achieve this by building skills directly within your team and by accessing specialist outsourced services to help.
To discover more insights by CPA Australia, explore the Business Technology Survey 2022.
The Government aims to help protect Australians from online scams
Another key area of investment is in combatting scams and online fraud. According to the Government, scams are costing Australians over $2 billion a year. That’s why it’s committed to an initial investment of $12.6 million over four years to help protect Australians from online scams.
The Government’s plan includes:
- establishing a National Anti-Scam Centre, and
- increasing funding for identity recovery services that support victims of identity theft and recover stolen credentials.
How we’re helping businesses with their cyber security efforts
According to the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC), 43% of Australian cyber crime is directed at small businesses, at an average cost of $9,000 per incident.
Together with COSBOA and partners, we’ve launched a CyberWardens pilot program designed specifically for small businesses. The initiative is Australia’s first cyber safety workplace certification (or microcredential), and it encourages small businesses to take a proactive approach to upskilling in this area.
Funding will be dedicated to help improve energy efficiency
The energy efficiency of small and medium-sized businesses was also in the spotlight. With energy prices expected to continue to rise, the Government is committing $62.6 million to support small and medium-sized businesses in improving their energy efficiency and reducing energy use.
The $62.6 million will be delivered via grants designed to support small and medium-sized businesses in investing in cost-saving, energy-efficient upgrades to help reduce power bills.
The budget will offer support for business owners’ mental health and wellbeing
Recognising the impact Covid-19 and recent natural disasters have had on many Australian business owners, the Government is providing $15.1 million in key areas of support.
These funds will be invested in the following small business mental health and financial counselling programs:
What opportunities does the Budget present for small businesses?
The current Federal Budget creates an opportunity for small and medium-sized businesses to consider strategies in the following key areas:
- Cyber security and safety
- Increasing resilience in preparation for the future.
To learn more about opportunities that may be available to your business, explore the 2022-23 Federal Budget online.
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