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November 20, 2019

New data highlights that more than one in four small businesses believe federal government policies are “working against them”, and business confidence and confidence in the economy is down, under the Morrison Government.
The Sensis Business Index November 2019 survey conveys a bleak economic outlook from small and medium businesses (SMBs). According to the survey, small and medium business confidence fell every quarter in 2019, and confidence in the Australian economy is down with 36 per cent of SMBs convinced that in 12 months time the economy will be worse.
The survey exposes a negative sentiment towards federal government policies, stating:  
“More than one in four (26%) Australian small and medium businesses (SMBs) think current Federal Government policies are working against them –an increase of 3% from last quarter.This is the first time the Index has seen an upward trend in the number of SMB owners who believe Federal Government policies are working against them.”
This survey data is an indictment on the Morrison Government and it is imperative that Small Business Minister Michaelia Cash listens to the concerns of small business and takes some action.
It is no wonder small businesses are concerned about this government’s policies. They have failed to act on the issue of dodgy director phoenixing, which could be costing tradies, small business and the economy around $14.5 million per day.
Small businesses require prompt payments to help manage cash flow and to grow, particularly when access to finance is tight, and yet the government has  been silent on the issue of ‘reverse factoring’ arrangements used by large businesses to obscure unreasonable extended payment times to small businesses.

With low wage growth comes weak demand for the goods and services provided by small businesses, but the Liberals have no plan to turn things around. It is increasingly clear the Morrison Government takes small business for granted.
This survey data follows retail trade figures from the ABS which show retail volumes are actually going backwards, recording their worst annual result since the 1990s recession.
It also comes after the Reserve Bank downgraded its expectations for economic growth for the third time in six months.
It is no wonder that with weak consumption driven by stagnant wages, and a floundering economy that small businesses are showing signs of pressure.

Labor will continue to hold the Government to account to ensure small businesses are not left exposed by this Government failing to manage the economy.