13 February 2024

Valentine’s Day the perfect time to show Australia’s small businesses some love

Australians are encouraged to shop small this Valentine’s Day and help show some love for the country’s 2.5 million small businesses.

The Albanese Labor Government recognises that small businesses are the biggest employer in Australia and are at the heart of the national economy.

And while Australia’s small businesses can provide the right gift to help spoil your someone special, the Government is ensuring small businesses owners are supported.

A range of measures have been put in place to address challenges that small business owners are facing, as well as open up opportunities.

The Government knows more work needs to be done to improve payment times to small businesses.

That’s why we have committed $8.1 million for initiatives that will deliver better payment outcomes for small businesses, including increasing pressure on big businesses to improve payment times by highlighting the best and worst paying performers.

In addition, the Government has committed to:

  • Overhauling the Payment Times Reporting Act 2020 to update the objects of the Act, simplify and streamline reporting, add proportionate regulatory powers and address inefficiencies with current reporting requirements and processes.
  • Ensuring payment times are considered in development of relevant Government reforms and policies, including unfair trading practices reforms, eInvoicing and Government procurement.
  • Reducing the regulatory burden for entities reporting under the Payment Times Reporting Scheme.

Significant funding of more than $60 million is also being invested in helping small businesses flourish online.

The Digital Solutions Program, the Cyber Wardens Program, the Small Business Cyber Resilience Service and the cyber health‑check program will all provide small businesses with opportunities to be smarter and safer online.

Other practical support for small business includes:

  • Targeted energy bill relief up to $650 for around 1 million small businesses in partnership with states and territories.
  • Helping startups and small businesses to innovate, commercialise and grow their companies through the $392.4 million Industry Growth Program.
  • Supporting small businesses in their energy transition with the Small Business Energy Incentive, which will provide businesses with annual turnover of less than $50 million with an additional 20 per cent deduction on eligible spending until 30 June 2024.
  • The $20,000 instant asset write‑off, which will improve cash flow and reduce compliance costs for small businesses with an annual turnover of less than $10 million, until 30 June 2024.
  • Supporting small business owners’ mental health and wellbeing through access to $15.1 million in specialised support services that are free for small businesses to access. The NewAccess for Small Business Owners program is being delivered by Beyond Blue, and the Small Business Debt Helpline by Financial Counselling Australia.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Small Business, Julie Collins MP:

“A strong small business sector is good for Australia, and good for our local communities.

Valentine’s Day, like every day of the year, is a great time to show Australia’s small businesses some love.

The Albanese Labor Government understands this, which is why we are focused on making it easier to do business, improving regulatory settings and helping small businesses make the most of digital technology.

We’ve committed hundreds of millions of dollars in targeted support to help small businesses thrive and remain at the heart of communities throughout Australia.”