The Australian Retailers Association (ARA) is welcoming the government’s support for SME retailers during the global financial crisis (GFC).
ARA executive director Richard Evans said retailers had been struggling with reduced consumer demand for over 12 months and welcomed the budget’s $500 million in small business incentives and support.
“Small business is the engine room of Australia’s economy and the support and incentives offered in the budget show positive micro-financial management to help retailers push through this economic downturn. This is great news for business owners who are financially distressed and working hard to keep their doors open and maintain staff during the GFC,” said Evans.
Small Business and General Business Tax Break ($141 million): The Rudd Government has listened to the ARA’s calls to extend the original deadline (30 June 09) to 31 December 09. As well as this the bonus tax deduction has increased from 30 to 50 percent of the cost of eligible assets. This is a direct incentive for smaller retailers (turnover of less than $2 million) to inject much needed investment in their business.
Small Business Support Line ($10 million): this initiative will provide a lifeline for many small businesses which are financially distressed and struggling to survive during the GFC and will provide advice through a nationwide network of small business advisory services around Australia.
Small Business Online ($10 million): Online retailing is a huge growth industry and the ARA supports this opportunity for small business to operate online, reduce costs and improve marketing and customer reach.
PAYG Cash Flow Relief ($720 million): the budget reduces the GDP adjustment factor for calculating quarterly instalments to two per cent from around nine per cent. This will free up much needed cash flow for over one million small businesses that pay quarterly PAYG instalments.
“These initiatives coupled with the Rudd Government’s stimulus packages, which are beginning to flow from consumers pocket’s through to retailers, leave retailers optimistic the Rudd Government is listening to their concerns and supporting small business. 
“Retailers are also pleased the Federal Budget has increased the pension and kept the legislated tax cuts for 09/10 putting cash back into consumers hands from 1 July, stimulating spend and allowing much needed funds to flow from the retail hub through supply channels.
“The ARA will be on the front foot supporting these initiatives and educating retailers across Australia about small business support services and incentives to invest in their business,” said Evans.