Boost business, cut red tape, SMEs plead

Is cutting red tape on your wish list? If so, you’ve got company. Slicing through the unnecessary bureaucracy and regulation is the number one wish for Australian SMEs.

Research conducted by KPMG reveals SMEs also want Government to deliver greater incentives to support investment in people and new technologies; additional R&D rebates and grants to business; lower corporate tax rates; and investment in the next post resources and construction boom, so Australian businesses can become more competitive.

Rob Bazzani, enterprise national managing partner at KPMG, says the desire for sustainable policies is across the board, for both long-established businesses and entrepreneurial start-ups.

For instance, changes such as reduced payroll taxes, an efficient BAS regime, and further incentives to employ workers on 457 visas.

“They worry about lost time and reduced efficiency and productivity. It’s a problem for all our clients, large and small,” says Bazzani.

He says the mid-market makes up 40 per cent of Australian business, but many enterprise clients feel the Federal Government doesn’t always support them.

Bazzani says this has been a year of flux.

"What SMEs need from Government is reassurance and action, particularly at a time when the implications of Brexit and the election of the Trump government fuel uncertainties even further.”

Also high on the SME wish list is a request for further R&D rebates and grants to aid innovation and development.

“SMEs recognise the fact that Australia now does business in a post resources and post construction boom world. Identifying and tapping into the next successful platforms with government support would help counter disruptors in the market by harnessing new technology and data so they can stay ahead of the game.

“So would greater incentives to encourage Australian business to take on the world and become more globally competitive.

“Such incentives become increasingly important as disruptors in whatever form – new players, cheap imports or technological advances – remain among the prime battles facing SMEs and taking up this challenge is a priority for any company’s long-term future,” says Bazzani.

A reduction in the long-debated corporate tax rate would also please SMEs, building confidence and stimulating growth in new markets and products for a more prosperous future, he says.

“These tax savings over time will better enable small business to reinvest in people, training, technology and improved processes, which will enhance their global competitiveness.”