News Pulse for July 5, 2018

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

Outlook bright despite power surge

Michelle Grand-Milkovic’s restaurant at Sydney’s Barangaroo,, is going well, with strong demand from executives at local corporations and the tourist trade.

Turnover at the 175 seat restaurant is up by 38 per cent to $5.5 million this year.

Scammers recruit unwitting ‘mules’ on dating sites to rip off schools and businesses

Dating websites are being used by international scammers to recruit unwitting mules in their attempts to rip off Australian businesses.

Between January and May, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCCAustralian Competition and Consumer Commission The ACCC is Australia's competition regulator and national consumer law champion.) received more than 1,000 complaints about “business email compromise scams”.

Uber now operates in every capital city in Australia

Ridesharing company Uber will enter the Northern Territory market for the first time — meaning it now has a stake in every capital city in Australia.

The company previously abandoned plans to set up shop in the NT, arguing new regulations introduced by the government in 2017 were too costly and the barriers for entry too high, particularly for drivers who used the app as a form of top-up income .

Carnell calls on private sector to create $1.5bn SME fund

The Small Business Ombudsman has recommended that the private sector establish an investment fund to offer both loans and investment capital for SMEs to improve access to finance for small businesses.

Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman (ASBFEO)  Kate Carnell made the recommendation, one of eight outlined in the newly released Affordable capital for SME growth  report, to help address the “market failure” that is resulting in a limited supply of patient capital for growth for SMEs.

How Envato’s apprenticeship scheme is tackling the tech talent shortage and promoting diversity all at once 

Australian marketplace tech startup Envato Australian Taxation Office has launched an apprenticeship program for developers, with a trial run already producing two full-time staff members.

Speaking to StartupSmart , Envato Australian Taxation Office chief people officer Michelle Ridsdale says the program is designed to address “the talent shortage for software engineers and developers”.

ASIC reveals one in six Australians struggle with credit card debt, and that includes small business owners

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASICAustralian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) is Australia’s corporate, markets and financial services regulator. intends to unveil new requirements and reforms for credit card lending practices after a report revealed one in six Australians is struggling with credit card debt.

Assessing the 21.4 million credit card accounts opened between 2012 and 2017, ASICAustralian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) is Australia’s corporate, markets and financial services regulator. found 18.5% of Australian consumers are being swamped with credit card debt, and they blame poor advice and lending practices by Australia’s major financial lenders.

Advisory panel for open banking

The fifteen members of a key advisory body that will help shape data standards that will underpin the Consumer Data Right and the looming open banking regime have been named.

The Advisory Committee will provide guidance and advice to the Andrew Stevens-led Data Standards Body as it develops the data standards that will enable the portability of consumer data between competitors.

No more low-doc lending: CBA

The nation’s biggest bank has ­announced it will permanently stop offering the nation’s shonkiest home-lending product — the subprime-style low-doc loan — and change how it pays mortgage brokers in a bid to stamp out fraud and poor lending practices.

The CBA yesterday said it would stop writing controversial “low-doc” (low-documentation) loans and pay its mortgage brokers based on “value rather then volumes”, in a surprise announcement just days after it said it would sell-off its entire financial-advice and mortgage-broking business.

Australia at the cutting edge of tackling offshore tax crime | The Hon Kelly O’Dwyer MP

Australia has taken the next important step in targeting those who seek to commit transnational tax crime by joining a new international tax enforcement alliance.

Representatives from the Australian Taxation Office (ATO Australian Taxation Office) and Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC) were in Montreal last week to sign up to the Joint Chiefs of Global Tax Enforcement alliance (known as the J5). As well as Australia, membership of the J5 includes Canada, the US, UK and the Netherlands.

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