Government promises $17.9 million in help to small businesses

Morrison expected to announce support for 400,000 small businesses

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Prime Minister Scott Morrison. Picture: James Croucher

Prime Minister Scott Morrison. Picture: James Croucher

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If re-elected, Prime Minister Scott Morrison pledges up to 400,000 small businesses could benefit from a government investment.

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The Morrison government has pledged to help create 400,000 small and family businesses and back programs to help them cut their overhead costs if re-elected.

The new announcement would support new small and family businesses over the next five years as a re-elected Coalition government would invest $17.9 million into the business energy advice program.

The program would aim to help businesses navigate the electricity retail market and adopt more efficient technologies to reduce their energy cost.

"When we create small businesses, we create jobs," Prime Minister Scott Morrison said.

"Our plan for a strong economy and a strong future for all Australians relies on strong small businesses."

The Coalition also pointed to new data from the Australian Taxation Office that it said showed the government's tax incentives drove $23 billion of business investment in the last year.

The government said they were still seeing the benefits flow from their initiatives.

The initiatives the Coalition pointed to included $21.8 billion of business investments from their expanded instant asset write-off scheme and the extra $1.2 billion paid through the loss carry back initiative.

Mr Morrison said the small-business support program was designed to back in a key sector that drove a stronger economy.

"Our plan for a strong economy and a stronger future for all Australians relies on strong small businesses," Mr Morrison said.

"That means keeping taxes at record lows, slashing red tape, backing trades training and apprentices, signing new trade deals to create new export markets, and ensuring businesses can tackle the overhead costs of electricity prices."

The non-mining private business investment grew by 10.8 per cent through the year to the June quarter 2021, which is expected to continue with non-mining business investment forecast to grow by 7 per cent in 2021-22 and 9 per cent in 2022-23.

The government expects their incentive programs to support $320 billion of business investment and create an additional 60,000 jobs by the end of June 2023.

The Minister for Industry, Energy and Emissions Reduction, Angus Taylor, said the expanded business energy advice program would benefit high energy using businesses in the accommodation, hospitality, agricultural and manufacturing sectors.

"Since we launched the [program] in 2019, over 13,000 small businesses have accessed the service to learn more about their energy bills, to plan energy audits, identify energy savings opportunities and ultimately lower their power bills," Mr Taylor said.

"The extra investment in the business energy advice program will see an extra 15,000 sessions and, combined with our $60 million Powering Business program and the Instant Asset Write Off, we're giving small and medium businesses the tools to lower their costs, increase their productivity and ultimately grow their businesses."

The expanded program would deliver advisory services to small and medium businesses as well as micro business with 0-5 employees affected by natural disasters and other hardships, the government said.

The Minister for Employment, Workforce, Skills, Small and Family Business, Stuart Robert, said the government planned to continue backing small businesses to grow and create jobs if they were re-elected.

"Our plan reinforces our commitment to small and family business with a comprehensive package of measures to support small businesses to grow, innovate and create more jobs," Mr Robert said.

"It builds on our small business investment incentives, including a 20 per cent bonus tax deduction on the costs of external training for employees and a 20 per cent bonus tax deduction on investing in new technology."

The story Government promises $17.9 million in help to small businesses first appeared on The Canberra Times.

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