This week I had a chance to chat with the federal Minister for Small and Family Business, Senator Michaelia Cash. With so much government intervention in the economy, the fast-approaching end of financial year, as well as keeping our businesses running smoothly, it was a great chance to get some clarity on a few things.
 
The first was an announcement from the federal government this week that the $150,000 instant asset write-off scheme has been extended until the end of the calendar year, allowing more time for businesses to make big-ticket purchases.
 
This means that businesses looking to make a prominent purchase, such as a work ute, or a piece of equipment that couldn’t be delivered by June 30, now have an extra six months to install it or get it up and running.
 
That’s a boost for business at a hectic time, and I think it will help a lot of businesses make decisions for their future that they may have otherwise put off.
 
Many businesses may also not have the capacity at the moment to make decisions on purchases like this, but with a number of government schemes and policies in place to boost the economy, there is every chance they can do something before December 31.
 
Another concern for many people recently has been around childcare, and news that childcare businesses will not be receiving JobKeeper payments beyond July 20.
 
Naturally that news got a lot of small business owners wondering if there could be further changes to JobKeeper in future, however senator Cash said there was no cause for alarm.
 
“This is a scheme that has been legislated for six months,” senator Cash said.
 
“In relation to childcare, that is a separate $708 million transition payment that will be accessible to every childcare service, not just those with employees that are receiving JobKeeper.”
 
“In relation to other small businesses, if you have qualified for JobKeeper you will continue to get JobKeeper until September.”
 
No doubt that will have many business owners sleeping a little easier.
 
A final bit of good news this week is the forecast unemployment figures, which are not as dire as we feared.
 
Instead of facing up to 16% unemployment across the country, as we feared in March, the current forecasts say it could be as low as 8%, which is a welcome boost for small business.