Using your vote as a small business owner in the Federal Election

Vote as a small business owner

Using your vote as a small business owner in the Federal Election

Using your vote as a small business owner in the Federal Election is an important decision, and may not be an easy decision! Like most elections, small business is being talked about by each of the parties as ‘the backbone of the economy’. Yet their deeds so often fall short of the rhetoric. 

Our representative bodies

The existing representative and advocacy bodies such as Small Business Australia, Council of Small Business Organisations Australia and Small Business Party are doing their best. But they are no match for the big banks, mining companies, telcos, property companies and airlines that exercise significant political muscle via their well resourced industry associations and high profile leaders.

The growth of small business

The most recent Australian Bureau of Statistics figures show the number of small businesses is rising. Between 2017–2018 and 2020–2021 the net number of actively trading businesses, big and small, rose by an average of 66,100 a year.

If that trend kept up, Australia could expect to add roughly 330,500 businesses between 2021–2022 and 2026–2027.

Australian Chamber of Commerce

Australia’s largest and most representative voice for business, the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, today launched its campaign Back Australian Business, coinciding with the federal election. They represent approximately 500,000 businesses and are calling on the parties to address three priority issues:

  • Ensuring all businesses and the Australians they employ have access to the skills to grow Australia’s prosperity. Now and into the future.
  • Boosting labour force participation, enabling Australians who want to work to get into jobs.
  • Taking the pressure off small business by reducing the regulatory and compliance burden, easing cash flow pressures, and boosting growth and employment opportunities.

Where each party sits in regards to these issues, remains to be seen with big promises and little substance being spat out in media releases.

What small businesses want

Two surveys of small and medium-sized businesses reveal a desire for a reduction in compliance costs. As many are still battling to get back to a post-pandemic ‘normal’. Specifically, post-election SMEs would like a simplified GST/BAS reporting process. As well as a proportion of government procurement contracts allocated to smaller businesses.

For those issues high on the agenda for small business, such as tax, there is hardly ever a difference between government and opposition on the broad directions of spending and taxing.

Differences between the parties lie not in macroeconomic settings or in the amount of spending, but in what it is spent on. At the moment that remains unclear – or untested. Both parties claim they will release their budgets, i.e. how they are planning on funding their promises, just before the election.

We encourage you to look at the issues and areas that are vital to your business. By doing the research on each of the parties you can make an informed decision.

Vote Compass

One of the ways you might approach looking at the election is by considering your values – personal and business – and complete the ABC Vote Compass online tool. The Vote Compass tool was developed by political scientists. It was devised to help you explore how your views align with the major parties. Based on your responses to the brief questionnaire, Vote Compass generates an analysis of how your views compare to the positions of the parties in the election. Almost 2 million people have used this tool. And the more people who use it, the better the data will be.

Vote Compass only focuses on the major parties. However, you can use the tool to help you decide on where you sit with issues such as:

  • Climate action
  • NDIS
  • Women’s rights
  • Indigenous rights
  • Immigration and refugees
  • Education
  • Health
  • Mental health
  • Aged care
  • Child care 

Then you can compare these results to those ‘teal’ (independent) representatives in your electorate.

In this Federal Election, using your vote as a small business owner is important. Make your vote count for your business, your family and your community!

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