Research from Westpac has revealed small business owners are feeling more confident following the uncertainty of the Federal election, with one in five business owners believing the Morrison government will have a positive impact on business.
Small business confidence has risen dramatically with 55 per cent of SMB owners saying they are optimistic and 44 per cent suggesting they are feeling confident. This is in stark contrast to pre-election figures which saw only 14 per cent of businesses feeling confident.
Ganesh Chandrasekkar, General Manager of SME Banking at Westpac said post-election confidence amongst small business owners has already seen a rise in small businesses applying for loans. Chandrasekkar said the positive sentiment provided an opportunity for both government and banks to step up to support small business.
“The government can continue to take positive steps to encourage small business growth through tax reform, making energy more affordable for businesses, providing more incentives for job creation and reducing red tape,” said Chandrasekkar.
Interestingly despite feeling greater confidence, two in three small business owners feel the government’s policies will have little impact on their business. However, a third (31 per cent) of businesses believe the Morrison Government will have a positive impact on business growth).
Although the government has announced a $300 million package to undertake red tape reduction, 85 per cent of SMBs believe there will be a negative or no impact on their regulatory compliance burden.
Small businesses also continue to be concerned with their ability to access finance. With many small businesses feeling the credit squeeze, Chandrasekkar acknowledged the banking sector has a role to play in supporting business growth.
“Westpac has a big part to play in that too, and we are open for business. Credit is important for growth and we have $30bn in conditionally approved lending limits for our customers. We are also innovating to solve small business pain points such as Biz Invoice, which is helping get 36 per cent of invoices paid within 72 hours and 57 per cent paid within 7 days.”