1 January 2023

New year and more support for small business owners

The Albanese Government is delivering more funding to allow small businesses to access free mental health and financial counselling support.

Australia’s 2.5 million small businesses play a crucial role at the heart of their local communities and in building a strong national economy.

The Albanese Government is providing over $15 million for tailored programs to support small business owners’ mental health and wellbeing, including through the NewAccess for Small Business Owners program, delivered by Beyond Blue, and the Small Business Debt Helpline, delivered by Financial Counselling Australia.

Under the previous government, funding for these programs was due to cease on 31 December 2022.

The Albanese Government has extended this funding from today to ensure small businesses continue to receive support.

Minister for Small Business Julie Collins said that the data shows that the number of small businesses has increased in recent years, which is a testament to the entrepreneurial spirit and innovation of Australians.

The Albanese Government recognises the significant challenges many small businesses have been facing and is committed to helping to improve the sector’s long‑term resilience.

Recent research published by Treasury shows that many small business owners have struggled with mental health challenges over the past few years.

Minister Collins said the Albanese Government is committed to helping small businesses get the support they need to deal with challenges they may face.

“I understand that many small businesses are doing it tough, and I want them to know that support is available,” she said.

“I would urge small businesses to access these free government‑funded programs that provide confidential support from coaches and counsellors who understand how small businesses work.”

More information about the NewAccess for Small Business Owners program is available by calling 1300 945 301 or on the Beyond Blue website. Small business owners can contact the Small Business Debt Helpline by calling 1800 413 828 or via the Small Business Debt Helpline website.