News Pulse for December 9, 2016

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

Apple-EU case was not the end of secret tax deals

If you thought that the European Union coming down hard on tech-giant Apple was the end of secret tax deals, you’re wrong.

New research from the European Network on Debt and Development, a network of 47 civil society organisations from 20 European countries, shows that since the LuxLeaks scandal, the amount of secret deals – what it calls “sweetheart deals” – between multinational corporations and European governments has increased by almost 50 per cent.

Aust e-commerce needs export focus: Fahour

Australian businesses are too focused on the domestic market rather than bigger markets overseas when it comes to making the best of opportunities in e-commerce, says Australia Post boss Ahmed Fahour.

“I’m still somewhat surprised, if I can be critical of our country, how poorly we have taken advantage of the trillion dollars of cross-border buying of e-commerce from Australia to the rest of Asia,” Mr Fahour told the Boao Forum for Asia on Thursday,

SA government backs small businesses

South Australian small businesses will be able to achieve “marvels” with the state government in their corner, SA’s small business minister says.

Martin Hamilton-Smith has delivered the first report on the state of the small business sector, which includes 140,000 businesses employing one-third of the state’s workforce.

Backing businesses with big ideas for sustainability

Small businesses with big ideas for sustainability and wellbeing are being backed by a new $13 million fund launched in Footscray.

Impact Investment Group’s Giant Leap fund focuses on investment opportunities for companies with a strong social or environmental mission.

Victoria steps up tech diversity

Victoria is pushing on with its diversity agenda with the Minister for Small Business, Innovation and Trade saying he will only consider funding for conferences and events that have 50/50 gender representation in their speakers.

Philip Dalidakis pledged to increase women leaders in STEM and business, and said the moves marks the next step the government push towards fostering equality in Australia’s technology ecosystem.

Is your small business at risk of a cyber attack?

Cyber attacks continue to pose a serious threat to business in Australia, with the Australian Cyber Security Centre revealing over 15,000 cyber security incidents affecting business were recorded in June 2015 – June 2016 period and ACORN reporting over one billion dollars of self-reported losses for individual and small businesses.

All organisations, irrespective of size, are reliant on information and data to run their businesses. This creates an opportunity for criminals, who target this information as a means to extort money from businesses, both big and small, ensuring the need for owners to secure their business’s data is imperative.

Tax cut calls after trade deficit

A surprising lift in the trade deficit has led to doubts about rising commodity prices rescuing economic growth and reinforced calls for the federal parliament to pass corporate tax cuts that are expected to boost investment and jobs growth.

The gap between imports and exports widened by 21 per cent to $1.54 billion in October as an ­expected boost from rising iron ore and coal prices and shipments failed to materialise.

How robo-advisors could cut the cost of investment advice

A Melbourne startup claims its automated investment advice platform can deliver more consistent results than human financial planners at a lower price point.

Melbourne fintech startup Clover.com.au is gearing up for the public launch of an automated financial advice platform its founders claim can deliver more consistent returns to investors at a lower cost.

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