Small Business Wins in 2017 Budget

When announcing the budget Scott Morrison said that the federal government was in the small business community’s corner, and we are happy to acknowledge that small business have come out winners.

Here are the key changes announced in the budget and how these changes might affect you and your business.

$20,000 Instant Asset Write Off extended by 12 months

The tax break that allowed small businesses to instantly write off any asset valued at less than $20,000 was due to end on 30 June, 2017. The government has now extended this for another 12 months.

This is great news for any business with turnover less than $10million because the instant asset makes it easier to invest in the equipment you need for growth. The extension reduces the urgency in purchasing assets this fiscal year to take advantage of the break.

Small Business Red Tape Reduction Targeted

The government will establish a $300million fund that will make payments to state and territory governments to fund reforms, with the focus being on small business regulatory reform. Reduced red tape is always welcome!

Funding for Advanced Manufacturing and Scientific Research

Most of the $100million funding announced for manufacturing and scientific research will be allocated to the automotive sector in Victoria and South Australia. However, the government has also announced the establishment of Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre, with $m4million available to fund small scale and pilot projects conducted by startups and individual researchers. So those of you playing in this space may have a new source of funds.

Crowdsourced Equity Framework extended to Proprietary Companies

The government established the Crowdsourced Equity Framework a couple of years ago to allow entrepreneurs to raise up to $5million in equity funding from a large number of individuals. This program is now to be opened up to pty limited companies, making it considerably more accessible.

Levy on Employers Hiring Foreign Workers

The 457 visa program will be replaced with a new temporary skills shortage visa. Employers hiring foreign workers under this visa will now be required to make contributions to the new Skilling Australians Fund which will be used to support apprentices. For small business with turnover less than $10million the levy is an upfront payment of $1200 per visa per year. There will also be a one off payment of $3000 per employee for those sponsored for permanent visas. Businesses with turnover in excess of $10million will pay $1800 and $5000 respectively.

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