SME BBBashing - Just an Opinion
As with all Budgets, the country divided into two camps - voters who were left heartened by the nod in their direction and the ones rolling their eyes. In particular, the measures introduced to benefit SMEs sent retail on a $20,000 advertising frenzy and inspired lots of editorial coverage.
The eye rollers....none more so that Mark Latham. In his piece 'Big is best: so why are politicians capitalising on small business?' for the AFR (30th May) was a typical Latham-style caricature of small business, and, is it possible, out of touch. His view was that the measures introduced in the Budget were utterly wasted on the kebab shop owners across the country. For the piece in full, read more here. If you are an SME owner or work with SMEs, it's worth a read over something bitter.
With the greatest of respect to Mark Latham, I'm sure his resume doesn't show him working for a small business, much less using his optimistic, entrepreneurial spirit to start one.
From little acorns, oak trees grow. The big business that Mr Latham lauds, all started as small business at some point. Or was he unusually born straight into adulthood?
This country sits on the shoulders of people who establish and work for small business. Who believe in it enough to back themselves and their futures with Aussie spirit. Who put their homes on the line as security with the belief that they can give their families a better future and who pay their fair share of taxes (maybe THAT's how some big business get so big?). There are more than 2 million businesses that are considered SME in Australia. Many people start SMEs because they can't find jobs or jobs that are flexible enough in big business to bring up families, care for elderly parents or study.
We have very short memories. We are a country that owe much to the risk-taking enterprise of entrepreneurs past - some of whom arrived to our shores on the back of world wars with little other than the clothes they stood in. Arriving with nothing, they went on to become the employers of the future. What's happened to our spirit, our courage, our guts?
The last Budget supported small business for the first time in a long time. We've been in the wilderness for too long. We can spend our way out of the mess we're in or work and innovate our way out. I know which we would rather leave as a legacy to our children.
Working closely with SMEs week-in, week-out gives us a very different perspective. Sure there are people in business that shouldn't be there, who rort the system and take away more than they put in. As with any group in society, it has it's fair share of shysters. But that's not our experience.
BBB, a SA 2014 Telstra Business Award finalist, has spent the last eight years assisting SMEs to drive value through financial processes through our unique approach of Program + People + Process. As industry leader in providing SMEs with services such as bookkeeping, management reporting, system process improvement and integration of business systems and accounting software to SMEs, BBB work on the front-line to assist business to replace their heavy, old-school finance department with a resource for the future FOR LESS.