A new report shows close to half of small to medium businesses (SMEs) surveyed do not have a good understanding of how the carbon tax will affect them.
The March 2012 MYOB Business Monitor report questioned more than 1,000 SMEs. It revealed 42 per cent are uncertain of the legislation's impact while 31 per cent understood quite well, 17 per cent understood very well and four per cent didn't know.
According to the survey, agriculture/forestry/fishing and construction/trade were the most uninformed and the most informed were those in the finance/insurance industry.
As for whether the carbon price will be a bad thing for small businesses, 50 per cent of respondents believe the impact will be negative but 33 per cent see no impact and 11 per cent expect a positive impact. The remaining five per cent didn't know.
MYOB has released a free carbon tax toolkit which includes facts, tips to use less energy and save money and how to maximise the opportunities.
"It is deeply concerning that our research has found such a low level of awareness about the carbon tax impact on business amongst SMEs, the engine room of our economy," says Tim Reed, MYOB CEO.
"This is a major piece of legislation that will have a lasting effect on all business owners. What many don't realise is that the carbon tax could very well be a positive experience for those who take action now to research, plan ahead, health-check their business fundamentals and capitalise on the opportunities.
"Business owners must recognise that although the carbon tax will have flow-on effects to goods and services they need, there are practical steps that can be taken now to minimise the impact."