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Working together to support small business

Recently, five federal regulators came together to support small businesses in a successful multi-agency webcast.

Hosted by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), the webcast focused on the case study of a small business journey. It featured a panel discussion between David Salisbury, Australian Competition and Consumer Commission; John Price, Australian Securities and Investments Commission; Sandra Parker, Fair Work Ombudsman; Deborah Jenkins, Australian Taxation Office and Kate Carnell, the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman. A recording is available online.

With each of the agencies having different interactions with small businesses, the webcast was able to provide a whole-of-government viewpoint for the audience made up largely of small business owners as well as financial advisors and accountants.

The format proved a hit with more than 300 attendees raising 71 questions live, while many others were able to watch the recording later. The agencies also used audience polls to learn what challenges small businesses were facing.

More than a third of the respondents said keeping up with all the regulations out there was their biggest challenge, even more than cash flow (23 per cent) or marketing to and attracting customers (14 per cent).

Deborah Jenkins, the Deputy Commissioner for Small Business from the ATO said the group of regulators provide help and support directly to small businesses, their tax professionals and business associations.

“We are always looking for new opportunities to work together to reduce complexity,” said Deborah.

While these agencies had done multiple webinars together, this was the first time they chose the case study format.

Left to right: Kate Carnell, David Salisbury, Deborah Jenkins, John Price and Sandra Parker