Helping Australia’s small businesses save time and money by going digital will be the focus of a new independent body established by the Liberal National Government.
The Coalition today announced the body in response to recommendations by the Small Businesses Digital Taskforce, led by entrepreneur Mark Bouris AM, which reported its findings earlier this year.
Minister for Industry, Science and Technology, Karen Andrews, said the Taskforce would provide small businesses and their advisers with tailored, up-to-date and easily accessible information on digital best practice.
“Small businesses represent 99 per cent of all Australian businesses, employ around 50 per cent of our workforce and contribute 33 per cent of our GDP, which makes them invaluable to our society and the nation’s economy,” Minister Andrews said.
“For many small business owners, the day to day stresses, time pressures and challenges of running their business and serving customers makes it hard for them to look for new opportunities, so this independent body will be dedicated to giving them a helping hand to grow, invest and create more Australian jobs.”
Research shows that using digital tools saves small businesses 10 hours per week and boosts their revenue by 27 per cent. Collectively, this amounts to 22 million hours saved per week and an additional $385 billion per year in revenue across all Australian small businesses.
Mark Bouris AM welcomed the Liberal National Government’s support, saying it will help small businesses go to the next level.
“This is a world class initiative to tool up small business to compete more vigorously, build more productive hours and better business outcomes,” Mr Bouris said.
“It will play a big part in securing our business communities’ future as an employer and significant contributor to Australia’s economy.”
The Liberal National Government has committed $3 million to support the creation of the independent body. Through an open competitive process, the Government will provide matched seed funding and drive a sustainable, self-funding model for the new digital organisation.
The Coalition will also continue to build on the recommendations outlined in the Taskforce’s report by working closely with industry and government stakeholders to help Australian small businesses take advantage of rapid and global technological changes and opportunities.
Small business will continue to benefit from access to the business.gov.au website, which provides practical tools, resources, grant opportunities, events, registrations, licencing and adviser information to Australian businesses of every size.