News Pulse for December 5, 2016

A daily download of SME, startup, fintech and tax news from around Australia.

Employers ‘short-changing’ workers by withholding super

About a third of Australian workers are being ripped off by rogue employers who are holding back some or all of their superannuation entitlements, according to a report out today

Research by Industry Super Australia and Cbus has found employers dodging superannuation payments are pocketing $3.6 billion per year from 2.4 million workers.

“I was spat on by a customer”: retail abuse on the rise

It was only when a customer spat in his face that Jack Burrows found himself struggling to deliver service with a smile.

Having worked in retail for four years while at school and university, Mr Burrows, 19, said his experience of serving customers had been positive on the whole.

Effects test legislation introduced in parliament, but SMEs may have to wait years for results

Legislation to introduce an effects test into Australian competition law made its way into the House of Representatives on parliament’s last sitting day for 2016, but businesses will still have a decent wait ahead to see the law in operation.

What we learned from the small business loans inquiry

The Small Business Loans Inquiry has wrapped after extensive consultations with Australia’s major banks.

The hearings were led by the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman (ASBFEO) Kate Carnell, examining how the big four banks handle small and medium sized (SME) business clients .

Crowd-funding bill flawed progress

After crowd-funding legislation experienced a false start in December last year, it’s positive to see the Turnbull government introducing the Corporations Amendment (Crowd-sourced Funding) Bill 2016 to parliament. But the newly revised draft bill still contains several sticking points which may constrain crowd-funding in Australia.

Corrs backs start-ups

Independent law firm Corrs Chambers Westgarth is bankrolling a new specialist legal service for entrepreneurs, the latest in a suite of initiatives by the John Denton-led firm to support Australian start-ups.

The offering, CorrsEdge, will provide start-ups with affordable access to some of the nation’s most experienced lawyers, as well as the firm’s proprietary intuitive online Smart Platform, designed specifically to help start-ups anticipate and manage their legal needs.

The Business Council of Australia and its new head need a reality check

The Business Council of Australia (BCA) looks set to double down on its failed strategy in its appointment of new president Grant King.

The chief business lobby group found itself at odds with the Coalition government in the last term, as it relentlessly pushed the government to pursue politically unsaleable agendas. It had a significant hand in the Coalition’s disastrous first budget that was widely seen as benefiting the rich at the cost of the poor.

Latest Crossroads report includes policy options for a world-class start-up ecosystem

Australia’s tech start-up sector continues to face barriers to achieving world-class status, according to peak advocacCommunications Access Co-ordinatory group StartupAUS, which yesterday launched a report recommending 14 actions to unlock the sector’s full potential.

Uber launches in Hobart with about 70 drivers ready to roll

As Uber launches in Hobart, a divide exists between those hoping to reap the benefits and taxi drivers fearing for their livelihoods.

The global ride-booking giant signed up 70 Hobart drivers ahead of its app going live today at midday.

Don’t get too used to cheap Uber fares

UBER’S cheap fares are a mirage.

The company is “staggeringly unprofitable” and relies on billions of dollars in subsidies to undercut taxi operators. And once the competition is wiped out, the transportation giant would need to “quadruple” fares to become profitable.

StartupAUS’ six-point plan to boost innovation

The lobby group warns Australia is falling behind in global innovation, and calls for urgent tax, immigration and other reforms.

StartupAUS has issued its annual Crossroads report for 2016 , warning Australia is falling behind other countries in terms of innovation, risking an economic slump unless governments implement reforms to promote startups and innovation.

Entrepreneurial spirit pervades the Xmas spirit for small business owners

Australian small business owners are an entrepreneurial lot, with many choosing to operate more than one business at a time and working so hard they probably won’t take public holidays or even a Christmas break this year.

The latest SME snapshot survey from accounting software provider MYOB found that a quarter of operators (25%) are operating more than one actively trading business, with the average being 2.5 businesses.

And one in six — or 16% — of SMEs said they wanted to start a new business.

One in four SME owners are juggling businesses

Two in five SME owners either operate multiple businesses or plan to, according to new research from MYOB with Tim Reed, the cloud accounting provider’s CEO, declaring “the great Australian entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well.”

Findings from MYOB’s latest SME Snapshot – a survey of 589 business owners – indicate that a quarter of operators (25%) are operating more than one actively trading business, with the average being 2.5 businesses. Additionally, one in six owners said they wanted to start a new business or another new business (16%).

Technologies that defined this year for small business

From cloud computing to collaboration tools and on to the Internet of Things, there’s an ever-growing list of tech trends that influenced small and medium-sized businesses this year. Here are the top five.

Tips, comments or suggestions? Let me know in the comments, send me an email or tweet me @simeonduncan.

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