insurance: are you covered written on sand.
Opinion

The small business insurance crisis: why the ASBFEO says an alternative is needed!

- January 10, 2024 3 MIN READ

Many small and family businesses say their biggest and most pressing cost pressure is not wages, energy or even landlords putting up the rent; it’s insurance, writes Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman Bruce Billson. Finding adequate insurance cover at commercially viable terms is fast becoming a wicked challenge that is, sadly, in too many… Read more »

bank branch close sign
Opinion

Bank closures are breaking trust and leaving rural and regional business out in the cold

- December 12, 2023 3 MIN READ

When a bank leaves town, often all that’s left is a boarded-up building. But it can have a shocking effect on businesses, jobs, liveability and prosperity explains Australian Small Business and Family enterprise Ombudsman, Bruce Billson. The Australian Banking Association is updating its bank closure protocol, but I find it laughable in that it implies… Read more »

Optus outage
Opinion

Reliable communication is an essential service, Optus needs to be held accountable

- November 14, 2023 2 MIN READ

Telecommunications companies talk a big game about how their services are so important for the vitality of small businesses when they’re trying to sign them up as customers, but what happens when things go wrong? Where is the accountability? asks Bruce Billson, Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman. So when things go wrong, as… Read more »

business risk and reward
Opinion

Risk and reward: The small business balancing act

- October 10, 2023 4 MIN READ

Small and family business owners are increasingly shouldering more risk for less reward as compounding regulations and economic challenges hit businesses and profitability, writes Bruce Billson, Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman. Data recently released by my office showed that 43 per cent of small businesses didn’t make a profit in the last full… Read more »

word cloud focusing on procurement
Opinion

Tenderless: How procurement processes are failing small business

- August 8, 2023 4 MIN READ

Procurement might not sound like the most exciting topic, but winning a government contract can be life-changing for a small business, explains Bruce Billson, Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman.  As all businesses know, there is no substitute for good customers. The Australian Government has committed to being a bigger customer for small and family… Read more »

seamstress in sewing studio
Opinion

Why it’s time to celebrate our hard-working self-employed

- July 11, 2023 4 MIN READ

  We rightly honour and respect people for the livelihoods they carve out and the contribution they make to workplaces and the economy. But what is often missed as a vital and valued path to meaningful livelihoods and economic contribution is self-employment, writes Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman, Bruce Billson. Even our formal… Read more »

Calculator, cash and tax forms, EOFY
News

Small business ombudsman flags important EOFY changes

- June 29, 2023 4 MIN READ

New instant asset write-off thresholds, updated tax rules, increased superannuation payments and a rise in the minimum wage are among changes coming into effect on 1 July, says Bruce Billson, the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman. “It is essential that small business owners and managers understand these changes,” Mr Billson said. “They should… Read more »

seafood fish market
Opinion

The great seafood debate that could seriously impact small businesses

- April 11, 2023 3 MIN READ

  A proposal to impose mandatory country-of-origin labelling rules for seafood would be a compliance nightmare for small businesses, writes Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman, Bruce Billson. Like many Australians, our family enjoyed delicious Australian seafood for Easter. We are fortunate, wherever we live in this country, to have so many options –… Read more »