Govt considers Small Business Digital Taskforce report


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The Small Business Digital Taskforce has handed its final report to the federal Treasurer.

The government is now considering recommendations from the report, which is aimed at ensuring that 2.1 Australian small businesses are able to make the most of digital technology.

Chaired by Mark Bouris, the taskforce was set up to identify the opportunities to small business from increasing their participation in the digital economy.

“Many small businesses are delaying, ignoring or simply are unaware of the opportunities that digital technologies may offer them,” Bouris said.

“There is a lot going on out there to support small business but much of it is uncoordinated and this makes it challenging for a small business owner to navigate through.

“Over four months, members of the taskforce talked with suppliers and vendors of digital solutions, met with a variety of state and federal government agencies, and heard the views of dozens of industry associations and small businesses and drew on extensive user-centred research.”

Bouris said the taskforce felt there was an opportunity to better coordinate the digital advice and support that is provided to small businesses and leverage the existing trusted adviser relationship small businesses already have with their accountants and industry associations.

Minister for Small and Family Business, the Workplace and Deregulation Craig Laundy, who was a member of the taskforce, drew on his family business background to provide insight into the challenges that many small businesses face when adopting digital technologies.

“I get that change scares people, but this is a change that we have to communicate to small and family businesses that if you adopt and embrace digital technologies, there are not only productivity and profitability gains but hopefully you’ll get more time to spend on the things that matter to you,” Laundy said.

As part of the taskforce’s work, 11 video case studies were developed of businesses that are taking advantage of digital technologies. They include a Melbourne solar panel business, a Canberra plumber, a Berrima winemaker, a Brisbane pool products wholesaler, a Wollongong arborist, a Sydney-based mobile hairdresser and an accountant from Toowoomba.

These are now available online here.

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