News Pulse for October 18, 2017

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

WA Liberals back $435m budget plan targeting big business

The McGowan Government has had a budget win, with the WA Liberals deciding not to block a payroll tax increase on big business.

The Liberals’ decision guarantees the Labor Government has the support to get the key budget measure through State Parliament, just a week after seeing its gold royalty increase blocked by the Upper House .

Blockchain marketplace CanYa raises $1.5 million in 24 hours with pre-sale initial coin offering – SmartCompany

A startup that allows service providers like a Darwin crocodile wrestler to be paid in cryptocurrency has raised $1.5 million in its pre-sale initial coin offering.

The Melbourne-based startup is called CanYa, and it provides a blockchain-based peer-to-peer marketplace where consumers can engage directly with providers looking to both make payments, and be paid, through cryptocurrencies.

Soaring electricity costs putting SMEs under ‘unacceptable pressure’, ACCC inquiry finds

Rising electricity costs over the past decade are a “drain on business productivity,” according to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s inquiry into the national electricity market.

The commission’s preliminary report into retail electricity pricing highlights concerns about the operation of the National Electricity Market, which pose an “electricity affordability problem” for consumers and businesses.  It states that electricity prices faced by households and most small businesses have risen between 80% and 90% since 2007-08 and that while small businesses generally pay prices in line with residential customers, they do not receive all the same consumer protections under the National Energy Retail Law.

Sydney startup launches Bitcoin ATM

BitPOS aims to provide more opportunities for businesses to buy and sell the cryptocurrency.

While interest in cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin is still growing, much of it appears to be speculative in nature. As we’ve previously reported there are ways to simplify accepting bitcoin as payment for goods and services – although we have also pointed out that bitcoin can fluctuate widely in value. Since 2014, for example, the bitcoin-AUD exchange rate has shot up more than thirteen-fold over that time.

NSW Government set to secure equity in SMEs with ‘good ideas’ using new $150 million fund

The NSW Government is establishing a $150 million equity fund to allow it to ‘buy a stake’ in top performing businesses across the state, Deputy Premier John Barilaro has announced.Barilaro said the GO NSW Equity Fund, which is being established in partnership with First State Super, would see the Government take an equity stake in high-growth companies with potential to fuel job creation in metropolitan and regional areas

Barilaro said the GO NSW Equity Fund, which is being established in partnership with First State Super, would see the Government take an equity stake in high-growth companies with potential to fuel job creation in metropolitan and regional areas.

Small business telco complaints soar

“The state of telecommunications in Australia is ridiculous,” says small businesss owner Shayne Scott.

The Wodonga dentist was without a phone for three days this year after frustration with Telstra’s services prompted her to switch Dental on Lawrence’s phone system from Telstra to Commander.

Australia Post appoints Christine Holgate as CEO

Natasha Jay is surrounded by carefully packaged orders for her organic hair care business Pump Haircare.

They were meant to be delivered on Monday but Jay was unable to send the orders due to Australia Post’s online parcel delivery system crashing from midday on Monday until the early hours of Tuesday morning.

Dropbox targets freelance pros with Showcase portfolios and Professional pricing tier

Dropbox has launched a new portfolio feature, Showcase, designed to help independent workers and small teams of professionals display and share documents more easily.

The idea is that freelance workers such as architects and designers can store content in Showcase before sharing information with clients. Documents are arranged in a branded portfolio in a “secure and polished way,” with customizable layouts, said Dropbox director of product, Vishal Kapoor. It is also possible to add text captions to files to introduce content topics to help create a narrative around what’s being shared.

Big parties failing to do business

BUSINESS owners have delivered a savage verdict of Labor and the LNP with one in three planning to park their support with minor parties and independents.

Scathing results of a survey of 1550 small business owners has revealed white hot anger at the PalaszczukThe Hon. Annastacia Palaszczuk (pr. Pal-a-shay), Premier of Queensland and Minister for the Arts from 16.2.2015 Government’s small business policies, and grave disappointment about the performance of the LNP.

The Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland ReachTEL poll reveals more than one in five will vote for One Nation in the upcoming election, compared to a dismal 16 per cent who are backing a returned Labor Government.

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