26 Feb 2015

Let’s celebrate small business nationally

Small business in Australia, the ‘engine room’ of our national economy, deserves its own national day according to NAB, Australia’s largest businesses bank.

NAB is calling on the Federal Government to establish a National Small Business day to recognise this vital sector of our economy, which employs half of the Australian workforce and contributes nearly three in ten dollars earned by all businesses.

“Small business is often described as ‘engine room’, ‘lifeblood’ and ‘key driver’ of the national economy and it’s time this status was recognised properly,” NAB Group Executive Business Banking, Angela Mentis said.

“A National Small Business Day can offer real and tangible benefits for small businesses and the economy.

“These kinds of days have been successfully overseas at increasing sales for small business, which ultimately leads to more people employed.”

Read how The Daily Telegraph reported on NAB’s call for a National Small Business Day as part of the Fair Go For The West campaign.

In the United States, Small Business Saturday has existed since 2010, and has been warmly embraced by the American public. In 2012, an estimated $5.5 billion was registered in sales to independently owned small businesses on that day alone from the shopping activities of 70 million Americans.

“A National Small Business Day would act as an annual reminder for Australians to get out and support local businesses. These are the shops that we pass every day on the way to work, but not enough of us open the door to see what’s inside.

“Participants and promoters could include all levels of Government and all major retail tenancy companies.

“NAB stands ready to work with the Government on the creation of a national day to celebrate this important constituency.”

NAB’s call for a National Small Business Day is part of a detailed plan for deregulation for small and medium enterprises.

“As Australia’s largest business bank, and the bank of choice for small to medium enterprises, NAB takes an active role in advocating for sensible reforms to help business grow and create more jobs for Australians.

“Our plan for deregulation in the SME sector offers practical and achievable solutions for governments to act on.”

In addition to establishing a National Small Business Day, key recommendations from NAB’s plan include:

  • the Federal Government convene a working group the banks and ATO can work together to automate Business Activity Statements and income tax returns for small business to reduce red tape for SMEs
  • opportunities to review the remit and scope of regulators in Australia
  • a call for governments to reduce compliance costs for SMEs and review taxes.

“The right regulation encourages competition in a market-based economy, which in turn can benefit consumers through lower prices and a wider array of choice.

“It’s only when regulations become overbearing, duplicative and inefficient that business calls for change. At NAB, we hear these calls form the sector regularly, which is why we are calling for federal, state and local governments to act.”

NAB’s Deregulation Plan for SMEs was presented the Federal Government in December 2014 and is available at: news.nab.com.au

Key facts:

  • Last year the Productivity Commission estimated Australia has some 130 national regulators, 350 at the state and territory level, and 560 local government regulators.
  • The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry 2012 National Red Tape Survey found 54 per cent of businesses said regulatory requirement had prevented their business from growing.
  • The Productivity Commission has noted that too many small business people do not feel consulted when regulation is developed and their concerns “are neglected when quantifying the costs and benefits of regulations”.
  • The Productivity Commission’s own research found the consideration of regulatory impacts on small business featured in only 35 per cent of 182 Regulatory Impact Statements analysed.
  • The United States has had its own national small business day since 2010. In 2012, an estimated $5.5 billion was registered in sales to independently owned small businesses on Small Business Saturday from the shopping activities of 70 million Americans.

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