Half of Australia’s GDP: Why the budget should focus on SME growth

09 May 2023

“While speculation over Tuesday’s federal budget is as feverish as ever, there’s general consensus that tackling inflation will be top of the agenda. The government will likely look at ways to offer relief to those struggling with the escalating cost of living, but at the same time exercise restraint where it can. This is a sensible approach in the short-term but risks structural weakness over the horizon. …”

“… In a CSIRO report on SME leaders, R&D was considered a must for businesses to become and remain competitive. Those investing in R&D found it easier to stay afloat during the pandemic. Some had even experienced growth.

According to Melina Morrison, CEO of the Business Council of Co-operatives and Mutuals, the “missing middle” has also contributed to Australia’s low productivity growth. She notes that mid-sized enterprises are often major employers in regional Australia, and “it makes sense to encourage their expansion and diversification as a way of maintaining and increasing high-quality jobs, wages growth and market access”.

Helping SMEs grow will not only lead to the maintenance of longer-term low unemployment rates but also benefit the government with a more diverse, resilient economy as well as an increased tax base.”

Ryan Williams is the director and playford professor of business growth at the Australian Centre for Business Growth, part of UniSA Business.

Read the full article, Half of Australia’s GDP: Why the budget should focus on SME growth, in SmartCompany, 8 May 2023.

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