Australian Chamber Small Business Survey, March quarter 2016

By Exhibition and Event Association of Australasia, 17 April, 2016

Small business making the most of budget support


Australian Chamber Small Business Survey, March quarter 2016


Small businesses are making the most of the instant asset write off and other tax incentives, with investment in plant and equipment recording its best result in more than six years, the March Quarter 2016 Australian Chamber Small Business Survey revealed today.


James Pearson, CEO of the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said:


“There has been a significant 5.3 point jump for small business investment in plant and equipment since the 2015 Budget, which brings the index out of negative territory for the first time since the end of 2009.


“This is a great result and shows that small businesses are making the most of the tax incentives available to them.


“This also shows the decision in the 2016 Budget to extend the instant asset write-off to businesses with a turnover of up to $10 million was the right one.


“Most measures of small business conditions have also strengthened over the past 12 months, led by rises of more than eight points in sales revenue and profits.


“Pressures on wage and non-wage labour costs continue to rise alongside business conditions, but these pressures have moderated in the most recent results.


“Despite recent improvements, small businesses generally reported weaker conditions than businesses overall, with lower readings recorded for business conditions, sales revenue, profit and employment and more rapid in increases in non-wage labour costs and selling prices.


“However, small business reported greater overtime utilisation, stronger investment and more moderate wage growth.


“The results of our small business survey show an economy in transition.


"This is why, as we head towards an election, all parties must consider the effect of their policies on business confidence.


“Australia’s global competitiveness ranking has fallen from 10th to 21st over the last ten years. This election should be about policies that will put us back into the top ten over the next ten years.


“Tax and workplace relations are the areas where the nation has the most work to do, with current rankings outside the top 100. This is unacceptable.


“We support moves by government to cut the company tax rate and to reinstate the Australian Building and Construction Commission to its full powers.


“Election priorities for our more than 300,000 business members, employing over four million workers, include addressing youth unemployment, reducing government spending to a benchmark of 25 per cent of GDP, better planning and delivery of infrastructure, encouraging tourism through improvements to visa processing and getting greater value from government services through increased competition.”


About the survey

The AusChamber Small Business Survey gauged the views of 1,535 small businesses, defined as those with 0-19 employees. The survey covers January, February and March 2016. The detailed results are available at


For more information:
Jessica Wright | Senior Manager – Media | 0439 429 259


Source: Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry