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Businesses are praising the decision from the Morrison Government’s 2020/21 Budget to invest $800 million into helping SMEs adopt new technology.
On Tuesday night, Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg presented the Government’s economic roadmap out of the COVID-19 recession.
The budget sees $800 million aimed at improving access to digital services for businesses, to “further drive progress towards Australia becoming a leading digital economy by 2030.”
Trent Innes, the Managing Director of Xero Australia and Asia has praised the investment in the digital future of SMEs.
“Digital solutions will play an important role in implementing many of the policies in this Budget,” he said.
“Any measures to give business owners better access to technology will increase capacity and help them to take advantage of the many other business-related announcements.”
$420 million of the package will be used to accelerate the government’s plans to create a single national business registry and cut red tape for small business operators.
The funding package also includes $257 million to expand the government’s Digital Identity Program, including by integrating the program with the Director Identification Number (DIN) scheme.
It also includes $2.5 million in 2020-21 to support an industry-led Digital Skills Finder Platform to enable SME workers to easily find digital skills training courses for reskilling and upskilling in digital literacy.
Morris Bryant, Founding Partner of Australia’s largest independent digital agency Sparro, has said the support for SMEs has been “fantastic” in this year’s landmark budget.
“It’s fantastic to see small businesses make up such a significant focus for this year’s federal budget, especially when it comes to improving access to digital services in the wake of COVID-19.”
“If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that the ability to adopt new technology and adapt in the face of change is critical for future proofing business, and the Government’s renewed focus on digital training as part of the expanded Australian Small Business Advisory Service is a positive step in improving digital literacy amongst Australian small businesses.”
Greg Ellis, CEO of MYOB has said that while the investment will “enable many necessary changes for SMEs” he hopes to see the Government’s investment measures continue to adapt to the digital economy.
“MYOB sees an opportunity to take these measures further, particularly in the mandating of eInvoicing for B2B transactions on a faster timeline, and the extension of the Instant Asset Write Off initiative – which saw some major expansion overnight – to best suit the digital economy we are creating,” he said.
“Overall, this Budget is a strong display of SME support as a key community for economic recovery in Australia.”