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Aussie small business owners reveal “biggest concerns” ahead of upcoming election

Aussie small business owners reveal “biggest concerns” ahead of upcoming election

  • Business News

Global small business platform Xero has revealed the biggest concerns of Australian small business owners in the lead up to the Federal Election, with technology, supply chain pressure and staff challenges top of mind in the lead up the polls.

According to Xero, research of more than 500 small businesses across Australia uncovered small business owners are highly engaged with issues that affect their industry and broader community, stating “over 40% of respondents say policies that support small businesses are their top factor in considering what political party to vote for.”

Other main concerns raised by the small business owners surveyed included supply chain disruptions with almost 24% highlighting this issue, closely followed by cost of wages at 22% and staff shortages at 21%.

Technology insights

The survey results revealed technology adoption is lagging for small business owners, with 78% of respondents revealing concerns about, or not considering technology important, in the success of their small business.

Further, 40% of small business owners surveyed revealed they felt unprepared to move to technologies such as e-Invoicing.

“Small businesses are central to our communities and the success of our economy. As we come to a significant, democratic decision for the nation, it is important their needs are considered. These survey results reveal a clear opportunity to help small businesses take advantage of technology to carry them into the future”

Joseph Lyons, Xero Managing Director, Australia and Asia.

According to the survey, a third of respondents believe a cash rebate or grant to spend on technology would help them make use of more digital tools in their businesses.

COVID-19 recovery still a priority

COVID-19 recovery remains on the agenda for small business owners, with 25% of respondents concerned they will not recover to pre-pandemic levels within a year, and a quarter concerned about a need for support packages for future COVID-19 challenges.

The effects of closed borders and limited skills have had a knock-on effect on small businesses too, with 40% of respondents noting their business suffered from a tech skills shortage over the last two years, while nearly 25% of small business owners surveyed noted they are relying on new government policies to hire new people for their business.

“Technology, up-skilling, and digital support for small businesses have been a focus of the election campaign from both sides. As these progress, we hope to see small business owners (and the accounting and bookkeeping community that supports them) championed throughout discussions.

“We look forward to seeing how the election outcome will better serve the small business community in the long term,” said Mr. Lyons.

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