Budget gives boost to small and medium sized businesses

03 April 2019

BCCM welcomes focus on empowering small and medium businesses in 2019 Budget

The Business Council of Co-operatives and Mutuals (BCCM) welcomes the extension of tax cuts on asset purchases announced in the 2019 Budget. Write-offs will now apply on assets up to $30,000, and for businesses with a turnover of up to $50 million. This will help many smaller co-operatives and mutuals improve their bottom line and make important investments.

Melina Morrison, BCCM’s CEO, said, “In this era of accountability, we are pleased Government has made provision for change in areas where there is rising demand for services. Our members who work in the aged care, disability care, health and housing sectors will benefit from the measures. Given the economic climate where the Australian and global economy are stuck in a downward trend for growth, we are pleased to see a focus on maintaining a strong economy and that the Budget includes support for small businesses and the agricultural sector. We welcome the investment in business incentives and new programs that will boost apprenticeships and address skill shortages.”

A range of Budget measures to incentivise local land stewardship, enhance business energy efficiency, support local microgrid development and develop regional connectivity will benefit co-operatives and their members across Australia.

Ms. Morrison said, “We are pleased to see the focus the Government has placed on communities. Co-operatives and mutuals are, by their very nature, community focused with profits always going back to their members and communities.

“Government programs work best when communities are given the chance to help themselves. These measures do that, giving regional communities the chance to form resilient new enterprises and strengthen existing enterprises, including locally-owned co-ops and mutuals.”

The BCCM welcomes support for agricultural co-operatives and their members in the form of increased support for exporters and relief for farmers who have been affected by flood and drought.

As the co-operative and mutual sector is budget neutral, the BCCM remains focused on regulatory reform for its members and hope that Government will make it a priority this year.  BCCM continues to push for the following legislation:

Treasury Laws Amendment (Mutual Reforms) Act 2019, which was tabled in the Senate earlier this year. Reforms include:

  • The improved capability for mutuals to raise capital. This will allow for more competition in the mutual and banking sector, something that will benefit all Australians.
  • Adding the legal definition of mutual entities to the Corporations Act. This will recognise mutuals as a legitimate business model in a highly competitive sector

BCCM also continues to push for the inclusion of co-operatives in the red-tape busting Commonwealth Modernising Business Registers program.  Amendments to a Bill currently in Parliament would allow States and Territories to delegate administrative functions for state-registered co-operatives to the proposed Commonwealth Registrar.

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