ACCI campaign warns small business at tipping point

6:11AM | Wednesday, 12 June

The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry today rolled out the next phase of its "Small business too big to ignore" campaign.   "The BIG 4 You Can't Ignore" was launched by ACCI chief executive Peter Anderson at the National Press Club in Canberra.   The BIG4 campaign calls on the government and Coalition to cut red tape, simplify the tax system, make it easier to employ people and build better infrastructure.   Anderson said government regulation is extremely damaging to small businesses and they were at a tipping point.   "Our tax and finance systems are impossible for the average small business person to understand and comply with," he said in a statement.   Richard Clancy, executive director of the Victorian Employers Chamber of Commerce and Industry, told SmartCompany the campaign articulates what small businesses are saying and allows others join the conversation.   "What it does is highlight what small businesses are saying. One of the things that has become obvious is that a lot of small businesses are overworked and they often feel that their issues and concerns aren't being heard," he says.   The online campaign advertisements feature real business owners discussing the hardship and concerns the current system presents small businesses. Many of the people complain about penalty rates and how these high rates stop them from being able to open their businesses at peak periods, such as nights and public holidays.   Anderson said telling the stories of real people, rather than using actors and models, was integral to the campaign and its mission.   "It's a message not built on actors, not set by scripts, but carved out by the authenticity and rawness of real small business people and their stories," he said.   The campaign's latest move is an attempt to garner support and attention for the plight of small businesses from the Coalition and the government in the lead up to September's election.   Anderson previously told SmartCompany the campaign is giving small businesses the opportunity to have their voices heard in unison.   "Small business plays a big part in what's happening...and we want to make sure small business has a voice across the country. That's what the campaign is about – making sure small business is heard in this election campaign."   Anderson says getting noticed before the election is not the sole aim of the campaign.   "I say to the politicians of all political persuasions, something real is happening in the political landscape, starting in our suburb and towns, and it will go beyond 14th September," he said.   The campaign has already attracted public support with 22,121 people signing a petition.   Small business owners, employers and those who are concerned about the plight of small businesses in Australia can "add their voice" to the campaign online.   This story first appeared on SmartCompany.

Start-ups to be hit by “triple whammy” of increased costs on July 1

5:42AM | Wednesday, 22 May

Small business will be slammed by three cost increases in the new financial year: An increase in the minimum wage, another 0.25% rise in superannuation contributions and an increase in penalty rates for many retailers, according to the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.   The Australian Council of Trade Unions is before the Fair Work Commission today lobbying for a $30 per week award wage rise across the small business economy, and ACCI is characterising the push as a raid on the payrolls of hard-working small employers.   ACCI is proposing a rise of no more than $5.80 per week, a position which it says is consistent with last weeks “alarming” budget forecast.   David Turnbull, director of communication at ACCI, told SmartCompany an award wage rise would weaken business viability, reduce profitability and cost jobs.   “If the union claim gets up and there is an increase of that magnitude, it will come at the same time as an increase to the superannuation guarantee and increasing costs under modern awards that continue to be phased in,” Turnbull says.   “We’re referring to it as a triple-whammy, at a time when businesses are under significant strain you can see why we would be concerned.”   ACCI is calling for a specific superannuation wage offset and says without this the increase to the superannuation guarantee will hit hard.   Small business will also be impacted by the next round of rate increases with casual loading going up 24% and penalty rates increasing from July 1.   Peter Strong, executive director of the Council of Small Business Australia, told SmartCompany “without a doubt” the increases would all hit small business.   “What is difficult for small business is passing costs on, which is proving more difficult the way landlords work and the way the big supermarkets like Coles and Woolworths work,” Strong says.   “The government often says if there is an increase in costs pass it on to the customer and that is easy to say, but in the past decade that is more and more difficult as the big supermarkets won’t let small businesses put up prices.”   Strong says businesses will also be hit by the administrative costs of implementing the increased costs on July 1.   “The other problem that confronts us is red tape, every small business has to dive into their software and change the super contribution, it’s not like a pay rise, super is more difficult,” he says.   The FWC’s annual review of the minimum wage concludes today.

Business critical of Fair Work push to police workplace bullying

3:52AM | Friday, 15 March

Business leaders have criticised the federal government's proposal to have workplace bullying complaints heard by the Fair Work Commission, saying the move will increase confusion and encourage "forum shopping".

Christmas fizzer for small businesses following December sales slump

3:21AM | Monday, 11 March

Economy-wide spending fell almost 2% in December, according to the latest Commonwealth Bank Business Sales Indicator, despite small businesses’ hopes for a buoyant Christmas shopping season.

RBA cuts cash rate to 3% as consumer spending stalls

3:00AM | Monday, 11 March

The Reserve Bank has cut the cash rate by 25 basis points to 3%, admitting that while consumer spending is expected to grow, a return to “very strong growth” seen in previous years is unlikely.

Unions dictate unfair dismissal reforms, business groups say

3:43AM | Tuesday, 12 March

Businesses are critical of the limited change to unfair dismissal provisions announced by the Federal Government yesterday, claiming unions have been effectively given a "veto right" on reform.

Small wins for business on unfair dismissal laws

3:45AM | Tuesday, 12 March

Workplace Relations Minister Bill Shorten today offered limited relief on unfair dismissal laws to business but the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry says the reforms are unlikely to go far enough.

Business sales slide in July as consumers rein in their spending

8:47AM | Wednesday, 22 August

The Commonwealth Bank Business Sales Indicator fell 5.4% in seasonally adjusted terms in July, while another survey shows the small business sector has become increasingly pessimistic about the economy.

Clean tech start-ups peer through carbon tax gloom

7:41AM | Monday, 2 July

Clean energy start-ups are gearing up for the potential opportunities provided by the newly-imposed carbon tax, despite widespread uncertainty in the business community over the rising costs associated with the scheme.

ACCI calls on employers to consider mature-age workers

6:46AM | Friday, 15 June

The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry has launched a campaign for mature-wage workers alongside Business SA, as statistics show older workers are increasingly overlooked.

Business groups call for “modest” approach to minimum wage increase

5:24AM | Monday, 14 May

Business and industry groups are urging Fair Work Australia to reject a claim for the minimum wage to be lifted by $26 a week, calling for a more “modest” approach to award wages.

Federal Budget 2012: Business groups welcome budget surplus but question long-term vision

5:08AM | Wednesday, 9 May

Business and industry groups have welcomed the Federal Budget’s return to surplus but have questioned Treasurer Wayne Swan’s long-term vision for enterprise, with the decision to dump the promised company tax cut provoking ire.

Insolvencies hit record level as business expectations flounder

4:35AM | Monday, 30 April

Small business insolvencies have reached an unwelcome new high, with business expectations continuing to remain below average, according to new figures.

Consumer sentiment hits record low amid calls for rate cut

4:47AM | Wednesday, 11 April

Consumer sentiment is at its lowest level since August last year, according to the Westpac-Melbourne Institute of Consumer Sentiment, which recorded a 1.6% fall in consumer sentiment in April to 94.5 index points.

Interest rates unchanged despite calls for cut

4:51AM | Tuesday, 3 April

The Reserve Bank has kept the official interest rate unchanged at 4.25%, despite calls for it to be cut, saying the decision was appropriate in light of growth, inflation and lending rates.

Three-pronged pay push will hurt employers, business groups claim

3:22AM | Wednesday, 7 March

Employers will face a three-pronged pay push in coming months as unions seek pay increases for adult apprentices and other workers, while junior retail workers could also receive a pay rise.

Business groups outline wish lists for new minister Brendan O’Connor

3:13AM | Monday, 5 March

Business groups have welcomed Brendan O’Connor’s appointment as Small Business Minister, but expect the former union official to quickly get to work on meaningful reforms in the sector, especially when it comes to cutting red tape.

SMEs suffering from plummeting business confidence: ACCI report

2:38AM | Tuesday, 21 February

The small business sector is continuing to lose confidence in the economy, according to the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, as it calls for changes to unfair dismissal laws.

Business groups up in arms over super levy rise

11:23AM | Friday, 25 November

A leading business group says it’s appalled by the Federal Government’s lack of consultation on lifting compulsory superannuation by 3% from 2013-14, claiming the increase will cost jobs.

Business lobbyists call for Fair Work laws review

11:26AM | Monday, 21 November

Business groups have called for an independent review of Australia’s Fair Work laws, preferably conducted by the Productivity Commission.