• Treasurer Jim Chalmers getting an early start on Budget day. (Source: Instagram)
    Treasurer Jim Chalmers getting an early start on Budget day. (Source: Instagram)

CPA Australia said the investment incentives for selected industries was good, there was “no shot in the arm” for small business. The energy relief – $325 – was welcome but unlikely to have much impact, it said.

CPA Australia CEO, Chris Freeland, said small businesses “desperately” needed a budget to alleviate the cost pressures they’re facing every day.

“Most of which already have very thin margins, Fuel costs, power bills and various other inflationary pressures are having a hugely detrimental impact on many small businesses.

“While the emphasis on relieving pressures on household finances was expected, a more business-centric budget would benefit all Australians as small businesses are significant contributors to the economy and job creation.”

CPA welcomed the one-year extension to the instant asset write off, put said a more permanent solution was needed.

The extension means businesses with a turnover of up to $10 million will be allowed to deduct $20,000 for eligible assets.

“The range of targeted small business support in this budget makes sense, but a more comprehensive look at the sector is needed. We look forward to the proposed National Small Business Strategy that will help business, community, and government work together to nurture and grow our economy.”

The Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman, Bruce Billson, said the $7.7 million investment over two years to extend the funding for mental health support through the New Access for Small Business Owners program, created by Beyond Blue, and $3.1 million over two years for the Small Business Debt Hotline delivered by Financial Counselling Australia, were particularly important.

“We have seen a 20 per cent increase in calls to our helplines over the past year from small businesses struggling to manage their debts. It is vitally important that small business owners take time to focus on their own mental and financial wellbeing and these free services are provided by people who understand the realities of running your own business and can offer practical help,” Billson said.

$20.5 million was allocated to the Fair Work Ombudsman to help small business employers comply with complex workplace laws and $10 million to assist smaller employers with administering the revised paid parental leave scheme.

“We need to shift the mindset from minimising headwinds to maximising the ‘wind in the sails’ of our hard-working small and family businesses.

“Some 43 per cent of small businesses were not profitable in the last full tax year. Three-quarters of self-employed people, for whom their business is their full-time livelihood, take home less than average total weekly earnings.

“It is often said that small business is the engine room of the economy. We must ensure that small and family business can fire on all cylinders – not have a cylinder taken out,” he said.

More Budget 2024 coverage

BUDGET 2024: A Future Made for certain industries

BUDGET 2024: Future Made priorities

BUDGET 2024: Innovation, education & training

BUDGET 2024: Excise pleas ignored

Packaging News

In the first year of PKN’s Women in Packaging Awards programme, industry has stepped up with meaning. The response has been phenomenal, and the judges had their work cut out for them selecting the finalists from a competitive field of high-calibre nominees.

At The Hive Awards in Sydney today, the Best Packaging category was won by Don Smallgoods, part of George Weston Foods, for its resealable flow wrap pack for sandwich fillers and other smallgoods. This innovative packaging is a departure from the conventional thermoformed packs and addresses consumer demands for better functionality, sustainability, and product visibility.

Applications for the 2024 APCO Annual Awards are now open, and are open to all of industry to apply.