June 28, 2023
Ana Marinkovic: How to make the most of this year’s budget support
While the Federal Budget wasn’t as generous for small business as in times past, NAB Executive Small Business Ana Marinkovic encourages customers to make the most of what’s there.
Speaking with many of our small business customers around the country, it’s clear they were hoping for more in May’s Federal Budget.
Yet I would still encourage them to consider what’s on offer. Closer inspection reveals a number of measures that could potentially help your business – if you make sure to maximise them.
Bright spots in the budget
To avoid further inflationary effects, the assistance on offer through the budget was relatively modest. However, it’s still well worth chasing it up. Consider, for instance, the government’s offer to deduct $325 from energy bills for an estimated one million small businesses. With energy costs set to rise substantially on July 1, every bit helps.
Another measure that will have a positive impact across the board is the halving of the increase in quarterly tax instalments for GST and income tax in the 2023-24 financial year. This means instalment increases will rise just six per cent instead of the anticipated 12 per cent. It’s another opportunity to take some immediate pressure off your bottom line, and hence your cash flow.
When it comes to the medium to long term, meanwhile, it’s worth investigating the government’s $23.4 million Cyber Wardens program. This aims to build up the resilience of small business to cyber threats by training in-house cyber experts to help them.
It’s something many small businesses could benefit from. We are seeing more and more organisations fall prey to increasingly sophisticated cyberattacks and scammers, and it’s small businesses that suffer the most. A substantial hit to your funds could cripple your cash flow – including your ability to pay for supplies and even keep your door open.
By embracing such opportunities to improve your cyber safety, you could be securing the long-term viability of your business.
Is instant assistance right for you?
Similarly, it’s a good idea to consider whether the new $20,000 instant asset write-off could assist your business over the next 12 months.
While not as generous as the previous measure that allowed businesses to deduct the full cost of any asset bought in the 2022-23 financial year, the $20,000 may still be helpful at the end of the day.
And keep in mind that it’s only available until 30 June 2024 at this stage, with no assurances that it will be extended.
Green boost may pay dividends
Another measure that may appeal to businesses with capital at hand is the government’s much touted Small Business Energy Incentive scheme. This encourages businesses to install energy efficient appliances by offering up to $20,000 in bonus tax rebates for each asset.
While such an investment may not currently be a priority for businesses prioritising their economic sustainability, this won’t be the case for everyone. Moreover, installing solar panels and replacing gas with electricity could take a big load off those operations that are energy intensive.
It’s why we’re encouraging businesses to at least consider the bonus. While it doesn’t amount to free money, a savvy investment today might just help your skyrocketing costs further down the track.
Support is always out there
It’s clear that times are tougher just now, particularly for small businesses and sole traders who have to manage a household and business and are being hit by both interest rate rises and high inflation.
It’s all the more reason to make the most of any assistance available. That could be the government’s new measures, but it also could be from sitting down and talking to your banker about the opportunities and challenges out there just now – and the support they can offer. That way you’ve got a better chance of surviving the current times and thriving on the other side.