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IMPACT OF THE 24-25 FEDERAL BUDGET TO VARIOUS SECTORS – EXPERT INSIGHTS

Small businesses

For Australia’s small businesses, the 2024-25 federal budget offers a mix of relief and challenges. As CEO of Kwik Kopy Australia, a comprehensive approach is needed to understand what this would mean for SMEs in the print and design industry.

 

With the extension of the $20,000 instant asset write-off, investment in new equipment is encouraged – an essential component for businesses to stay competitive. There are clear winners in this budget with the addition of the $325 energy bill relief that provides some immediate financial aid. However, some may fall on the short end with the lack of a comprehensive tax reform. Independent business owners, unlike those who are part of a franchise network, struggle more with these challenges. Different business models may lead to a disparity in support structures. A simplified access to government schemes and training incentives is another critical aspect that needs attention as we lead into the AI Revolution age.

 

Increased investment in technology and equipment may be the path moving forward, together with a stronger focus on compliance due to additional funding for the ATO’s tax compliance program. On the other hand, energy cost management is important. Energy relief provides immediate support, but long-term strategies for efficiency will be needed to manage costs effectively, especially since rising costs and regulatory complexities hit SMEs and franchisees hard.

 

Additional support for digital marketing and technology upgrades is essential for the print and design sector to stay competitive. We need targeted measures to address rising costs, increase workforce productivity and simplify access to training, putting together a broader approach to address a wider range of challenges.

 

We need to be broad and comprehensive in supporting SMEs. While the provided efforts are commendable, there should be ongoing government attention to these issues to help SMEs navigate the current economic landscape. We see some positive steps that the federal budget has taken, but it is also essential to call for targeted measures to ensure that small businesses, particularly in print and design, can stay afloat. With the proper backing, Australian businesses can continue to grow, transform and innovate.

 

96% of businesses in Australia are classified as small and medium enterprises, serving as the backbone of Australia’s economy. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), 60% of small businesses in Australia will likely fail within the first three years of operations, with 20% failing in the first year. From 2022-2023, we have seen a 16% entry rate with 406,365 business entries and a 14% exit rate with 365,216 businesses shutting down.

 

By having a balanced approach to both immediate needs and long-term solutions, the Australian government can help ensure that SMEs thrive and survive in the coming years.

 

By Sonia Shwabsky, CEO, Kwik Kopy Australia

 

Housing and construction sector

For the housing and construction sector, the 2024-2025 Federal Budget addresses some important needs, however, it also presents both opportunities and challenges. With the rising costs and growing competition for labour and materials, amplified by the cost-of-living crisis, it’s becoming a more difficult time for younger apprentices to complete their programs. The funding and initiatives in place may not be enough to significantly impact the skills shortage. Apprenticeship programs must have an expanded scope into more industries, and vocational education pathways is a promising step in the right direction.

 

The government’s focus on fee-free training in housing and construction is vital, however, it poses risks of neglecting other sectors. Over 50% of all jobs require VET qualifications, emphasising the need for a broader approach. A detailed collection of data and information is a must to better understand the issues specific sectors face.

We would also need more financial incentives implemented. It is a crucial component to increase apprentice completion rates. The planned $319.50 payment from July 2025 is helpful but may not be enough. To lessen financial pressures, there would need to be more support and additional payments, so apprentices can accomplish their training more efficiently.

While the $90 million investment on education for 20,000 students in housing and construction is a good start, it may not completely address the skills shortage. Every step is important in resolving economic challenges and pandemic-induced debts.

By Andrew Sezonov, Group General Manager, WPC Group