News Pulse for October 16, 2017

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

It’s estimated some 2200 jobs will be lost to rising electricity prices

ELECTRICITY users today are being told to get tough with power companies deliberately over complicating contracts which are pushing up electricity prices faster than inflation and wages.

The strategies are contained in a preliminary report on retail electricity pricing produced by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCCAustralian Competition and Consumer Commission The ACCC is Australia's competition regulator and national consumer law champion.).

Rising energy costs curtailing SME growth; Ombudsman blames price gouging, politics

Research showing that SMEs are reducing capital expenditure due to rising energy prices has prompted criticism of the state governments by the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman.

The Ombudsman, Kate Carnell, pointed to the latest East & Partners SME survey* of 1280 businesses, which showed that 39.5% of SMES plan to scale back short-term capital expenditure due to higher energy prices, while 20.8% will scale back capital expenditure in the long-term, and a further 9.9% will reduce capital expenditure in the short and long-term.

Non-banks swing towards public favour

With greater numbers of borrowers seeking out mortgages and other products from non-banks, it’s clear that the public now sees alternative lenders in a more positive light.

Thanks to the vast array of information on the internet, consumers are more educated and more open to ‘challenger’ brands, Homeloans general manager of third party distribution Daniel Carde told Australian Broker.

SMEs woefully unprepared for Single Touch Payroll

Fewer than 10 percent of businesses are ready for the implications of Single Touch Payroll, which an accounting body has warned will add a significant compliance burden for SMEs.

A straw poll conducted by My Business’ sister publication Accountants Daily revealed that less than 10 percent of accountants believe their clients are ready for the shift to Single Touch Payroll (STP). Out of 290 voters, 261 (90.6 percent) said they were not prepared.

The questions you have to ask

A new survey has demonstrated once again that Australia’s telecommunications infrastructure is struggling to meet the demands of business, especially small businesses.

Accounting software firm Xero commissioned an independent survey of more than 1,000 small business owners across Australia that looked at how phone and internet connectivity affects business productivity, hiring, and growth.

Shorten’s $1b manufacturing boost

VICTORIAN manufacturers would have access to a $1 billion fund to grow their business and create jobs if Labor wins the next federal election.

The policy would allow auto component manufacturers to retool or diversify into other industries, and food manufacturers to invest in equipment to package new products for Asian export markets.

Small to medium-sized companies — many hit hard with the end of car manufacturing — would have access to the scheme.

Amazon to hold first Australian seller summit

Amazon says more than 500 Australian businesses have registered to sell their products on Amazon Marketplace, adding to speculation that the online retail behemoth will launch its local offer before Christmas.

Amazon will hold its first Amazon Marketplace seller summit in Australia on November 13 to give businesses interested in selling on the new channel information on how to set up or grow online.

300,000 small businesses benefit from instant asset write-off | The Hon Michael McCormack MP

CLOSE to 300,000 Australian small businesses have taken advantage of the Coalition Government’s instant asset write-off according to 2015-16 tax office data, Minister for Small Business Michael McCormack says.

“The instant asset write-off is directly helping small business bottom lines and improving cash flow for small business which means more investment in local communities, higher wages and more local job opportunities,” Mr McCormack said.

Driver uses Uber to build business

Arabella Dowd has saved more than $15,000 for her business in the past 12 months by using the sharing economy.

The founder of personal concierge service Southern Belle used Australia’s peer-to-peer car rental platform DriveMyCar to hire a vehicle for a client and she has not looked back.

Why small businesses are in trouble

Some of the federal government’s biggest spending departments could require contractors to pay their supply chain businesses within 30 days, as part of a campaign by Small Business Ombudsman Kate Carnell.

As the government considers the former ACT Liberal leader’s inquiry into payment times and contract practices in the Australian economy, Ms Carnell has written to seven public service departments and agencies including Defence, the tax office and Human Services seeking their views on contract terms and conditions, project bank accounts and 30-day payments.

Palaszczuk Government grants grow Sunshine Coast small businesses

PalaszczukThe Hon. Annastacia Palaszczuk (pr. Pal-a-shay), Premier of Queensland and Minister for the Arts from 16.2.2015 Government grants grow Sunshine Coast small businesses.

Small businesses on the Sunshine Coast continue to benefit from dedicated grants programs being delivered under the PalaszczukThe Hon. Annastacia Palaszczuk (pr. Pal-a-shay), Premier of Queensland and Minister for the Arts from 16.2.2015 Government’s Advancing Small Business Queensland Strategy.

Small Business Minister Leeanne Enoch said today (Monday) the PalaszczukThe Hon. Annastacia Palaszczuk (pr. Pal-a-shay), Premier of Queensland and Minister for the Arts from 16.2.2015 Government’s commitment to small business growth is helping generate new jobs in the region.

 

Should you buy shares in XERO FPO NZX or Myob Group Ltd?

XERO FPO NZX (ASX: XRO) and Myob Group Ltd (ASX: MYO) are two technology companies that provide cloud-based accounting solutions for small businesses.

Both XERO and MYOB have great user-friendly software solutions and are growing in popularity but which one makes the better investment?

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

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