The vote of small-business people cannot be underestimated, says the Council of Small Business Australia (COSBOA).
COSBOA CEO Peter Strong says small-business people account for large numbers of voters in marginal seats across Australia.
Examples, he says, are the seats of McEwen in Victoria, where Labor has a margin of just 0.2 per cent and the small business community makes up 9.4 per cent of voters; Eden-Monaro (NSW), where the Liberals’ margin is 0.6 per cent and small business is 11.3 per cent of voters; and Capricornia (Queensland), where the LNP margin is 0.8 per cent and small businesses make up 11.6 per cent of voters.
“Small-business people in electorates across Australia will play a vital part in the election,” Mr Strong said. “There’s no denying that the vote of every small-business owner and those working for them count.”
He stressed the importance of being informed on policy when casting a vote.
“It’s easy to get caught up in the frenzy of an election and focus on the major two parties, but communities need to look at the individuals who will represent them and what they stand for,” he said. “Small businesses impact everyone’s day-to-day life, from local accountants, gyms, cafes and grocers to health practitioners and owner drivers.
“We need a government with a clear direction that includes key policies to support small business, then the entire community benefits and Australia’s cultural fabric gain strength.”
COSBOA has outlined the key policy issues that need to be front and centre for small businesses in the election, including competition, workplace relations, telecommunications, B2B communications, health, training, financing and superannuation.
Above all else, COSBOA says, the main election theme needs to be about transparency in government.
“There must be an end to secret big-union and big-business influence on policy and process,” Mr Strong said. “It’s not just small-business people that suffer from covert influence, it’s also medium businesses, non-employing independent contractors and Australian workers. The economy cannot be managed effectively in back rooms and dark places.”
COSBOA’s response to each policy can be viewed here.