The Council of Small Business Organisations Australia (COSBOA) National Summit was held in Melbourne on 4-5 April. The summit was opened by the Victorian Small Business Minister, the Hon. Natalie Suleyman MP, who mentioned the Small Business Partners in Wellbeing program as one of the key initiatives for small business owners.
A number of other politicians made speeches over the two days, including the Federal Small Business Minister, the Hon. Julie Collins MP, and the leader of the Federal Opposition, the Hon. Peter Dutton MP., highlighting the importance small business plays across the political spectrum.
Some of the more interesting points made:
- RFCS SA/NT assisted 6,300 small business owners in calendar 2022, with 51,000 sessions (Brett Smith, EO)
- Increasing concerns from a number of speakers about the impact of increasingly clever scams and other cybercrime on individuals and small businesses. The Australian Cyber Security Centre estimates the average financial cost for small businesses affected by cybercrime is $39k. Cybercrime should be viewed as a business risk to be mitigated, rather than a technical issue. (Useful websites to see the latest problems, and report incidents are www.scamwatch.gov.au and www.cyber.gov.au)
- 60% of millennials prefer to buy online but expect the experience to be simple. 60% are willing to pay more for value-based, authentic products and services (AMEX)
- There is an emerging business model for online legal services, where a price per output is quoted, rather than a ‘billable hours’ model, where the final cost is unknown at the outset. (Search for online legal marketplaces)
- Personal insolvencies are currently running at around 10,000 p.a., compared with the long-term average of 25,000 pa. Of the $18b of debt of current insolvent individuals, two-thirds relates to business debt (Tim Beresford, AFSA)
- 300,000 small businesses are currently on payment plans with the ATO (Will Day, ATO)
It was a useful event to attend, presenting the opportunity to explain the support financial counsellors can provide small business clients to a broad range of industry associations and government officials.