Business financier Bibby Financial Services is adding to calls for Federal Budget tax relief for small businesses, after finding that only 30 per cent of small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs) are planning to invest in their businesses in the next 12 months, while 19 per cent plan to sell off assets.
Gary Green, national head of sales at Bibby says, “Following the release of the Business Tax Working Group final report recently, the Federal Government is considering the recommendation that small businesses should be able to offset losses incurred in major investment spending of up to $1m against tax they have paid in the prior two years.
“The report proposes that this ‘loss carry-back’ mechanism be phased in from 2013-14, with an initial one year carry-back period.”
Bibby claims that its recent research shows small businesses are even more stressed than they were a year ago. SMEs are weighed down by cash flow concerns, with 27 per cent experiencing bad debts in the past 12 months.
Green says, “The proposed legislation will give small businesses much needed relief and allow them to focus on not just surviving but growing, impacting positively on the wider economy.”
“There is likely to be some hesitation from big business regarding how such a scheme will be funded, but we believe such businesses have been performing reasonably well in recent times. It is time the focus shifted towards small business, given that insolvency rates remain high.”
According to Dun & Bradstreet’s March quarter 2012 Trade Payments Analysis, the average time taken for the payment of bills by Australian firms was 52.6 days, substantially longer than in pre-GFC times.
The report confirms findings from Bibby’s Barometer Survey – which found that many small business decision makers are suffering from late payments and many remain pessimistic about payment terms, with 36 per cent of businesses expecting the length of time they must wait to be paid to increase further in the coming quarter.
The survey also found that the use of early settlement discounts to encourage timely payment of invoices was common among small businesses, with 45 per cent of surveyed businesses offering this facility, most commonly within the range of 3-6 per cent.
Conducted in February 2012, the Bibby Barometer Small Business Survey is a national study run twice yearly, surveying primary decision makers in over 200 non-retail SMEs.