News Pulse for May 29, 2017

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

Payment delays hurt small business

Big companies are bullying smaller businesses in Western Australia, with more than half reporting they’re not being paid on time, according to a new report.

One in five small firms faced delays of a month or more, a random sample of 1,500 businesses surveyed by the Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre found.

The findings come at a time when WA’s economy has been arguably the nation’s worst performing.

A big hand up for the small guy

AUSTRALIA’S largest companies will be audited to check they are paying bills within 30 days, to stop powerless small businesses collapsing while waiting to be paid.

As major companies face accusations of extortion for refusing to pay bills for up to three months, The Business Council of Australia will today introduce a new code of conduct for big business to pay in 30 days — with payment times transparent and public.

Start-ups seek boost in contracts

SALES rather than subsidies for start-ups is the key to drive growth and jobs, says Queensland’s chief entrepreneur Mark Sowerby who is calling for a mandated quota on government procurement to small businesses.

The man driving the government’s Advance Queensland initiative – and who founded ASX-listed Blue Sky Alternative Investments – is lobbying the State Government to commit to spending at least 20 per cent of its procurement budget with businesses with fewer than 100 employees. Mr Sowerby told The Courier-Mail the policy would be a game changer and would be similar to one adopted by the United Kingdom.

WA small businesses doing it tough as big companies delay payment

More than half of Western Australia’s large companies are paying small businesses late for goods and services, causing significant financial stress, according to a new report.

The Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre’s Small Business Survey revealed 20 per cent of small businesses wait a month or more to receive payment for goods and services provided to large businesses.

Victoria Cutting Red Tape For Retail Businesses

The Andrews Labor Government is seeking feedback on the Draft Small Business Regulation Review (Retail Sector) Action Statement that aims to cut red tape and reduce the regulatory burden for small retail businesses.

The Government has made it a priority to decrease unnecessary regulation and the review is an opportunity for retail businesses and other Victorians to have their say before the Action Statement is released later this year.

Inspector-General of Taxation calls for SMEs to face “random audits” on employee superannuation payments

The Inspector-General of Taxation says more should be done to chase SMEs that fail to pay their employees’ superannuation, including through “random audits” of businesses by the tax office.

On Wednesday, Ali Nozoori’s review into the ATO Australian Taxation Office’s compliance activities on employer obligations was released to the public, revealing 11 recommendations to “ease the compliance burden particularly for small businesses”.

Could Sydney’s inner-west soon see Uber-style buses?

An “innovative” idea to develop Uber-style bus services in New South Wales has been labelled a distraction by the State Opposition.

NSW Transport Minister Andrew Constance last week announced bus services in Sydney’s inner-west would be privatised , and he said this was a great opportunity to see how innovation could improve the transport network.

Government to provide $15 million as cyber criminals shift focus to small business

Australia’s small business sector is taking steps to protect against the increasing risk of cyber crime with the federal government set to provide $15 million in funding.

At a Council of Small Business Australia forum in Canberra this week, members heard from the Reserve Bank’s cyber security chief Andrew Pade that criminals were shifting their focus to smaller targets.

Big companies, small tax

Multinational companies winning taxpayer-funded contracts worth hundreds of millions of dollars are not paying tax, a Fairfax Media investigation of Tax Office and tender data has revealed.

Computer giant IBM, software company SAP and military arsenal provider Northrop Grumman are among those paying little or no tax in Australia, while scoring hundreds of government contracts.

Qld Government tracking success of innovative startup

Minister for Innovation, Science and the Digital Economy Leeanne Enoch today (Saturday) applauded the entrepreneurial thinking behind a device poised to become a global business helping people with special needs live independently.

Ms Enoch said Find-Me Technologies has developed the Carers Watch, a wearable device with locator and alert technology for people including those living with dementia or the very elderly.

APN call to back start-ups

Former APN News & Media chief executive Brett Chenoweth has called for more capital to be invested in start-up firms in the $90 billion creative sector of the Australian economy as he prepares to take a key role in driving a new incubator, accelerator and investment fund in the space.

Mr Chenoweth has been appointed chairman of QUT Creative Enterprise Australia (CEA), which hosts the nation’s first creative technology accelerator targeting early stage companies.

One fintech in ASIC’s sandbox, so government to expand it

Only one start-up has entered the “regulatory sandbox” set up by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission to foster fintech innovation, prompting the federal government to broaden its eligibility criteria through new legislation.

Six months after the launch of the sandbox, the single start-up using the regime is Goodments, a share trading application which matches retail investors to shares based on their ethical, sustainable and social values.

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