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All over bar shouting: Most small businesses expect Labor victory

Business

Almost three-quarters of small firms are predicting a change of government at the May 21 election, but there are mixed views as to how that will impact their businesses.

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A survey by financial software provider MYOB found just over one third of small- and medium-sized enterprises believe a change to a Labor government will have no impact on business.

However, MYOB’s election edition of its business monitor also revealed just over a quarter believe it will be a positive outcome for their business, while a similar amount think it will have a negative impact.

Whoever comes out on top on polling day, two-thirds of the 1000 SMEs surveyed list reducing the compliance costs of running a business as their most important business-related issue.

“Specifically, post-election SMEs would like a simplified GST/BAS reporting process and a proportion of government procurement contracts allocated to smaller businesses,” MYOB’s Helen Lea says.

Just under half of respondents said they would for vote a government that provided greater support to improve their digital capability and skills in order to “future proof” their businesses.

One in three firms polled said they still don’t have any kind of online presence, but 43 per cent say digital tools have helped their businesses to be more productive.

“We know that once digital adoption gathers speed, the impacts are immediate and significant,” Ms Lea said.

“This is both at an individual business level and macro level, with MYOB modelling showing a potential $10.5 billion return to the economy as a result.”

Meanwhile, ahead of next week’s crucial wage and jobs figures the Australian Bureau of Statistics will release its latest payroll jobs report on Thursday.

The report, a guide to the full labour force report, will cover the fortnight to April 16.

The Reserve Bank of Australia now expects the jobless rate to fall to 3.75 per cent by June and 3.5 per cent in 2023.

This would be the lowest level in almost 50 years and compared with the current unemployment rate at four per cent.

Such expected strength in the jobs market is backed by continued brisk demand for workers.

Preliminary data from the National Skills Commission shows online job advertisements jumped by a further eight per cent to 311,100 in April, the highest level of job ads since the series began in January 2006.

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