If you ask any small business owner, they will likely tell you that slow payment times is one of the biggest hurdles they encounter, so it’s pleasing to see some significant progress on that front this week, with the Victorian Government announcing it will now pay all SME invoices within 10 days. It’s a lead I’m hopeful that other states will follow.
 
It’s a harder task convincing big business to commit to the same standard, but I spoke to the Small Business Ombudsman Kate Carnell this week, who said the move from Victoria was a step in the right direction.
 
“They had been doing it throughout COVID, but they’ve now promised to continue to,” Ms Carnell said.
 
“To be fair to other states, the federal government has moved to 20 days, and New South Wales has done something similar, but this is 10 days so it’s a great step.
 
“There is still capacity for businesses who use e-invoicing to go to five days over time, but that’s down the track a bit and 10 days is fantastic, so if Victoria can do it, so can everyone else.”
 
And while New South Wales and Victoria have unveiled their belated budgets in recent weeks, this week it was time for Queensland to be in the spotlight, and health care and tourism were among the big winners.
 
A special tourism recovery fund worth $74 million will help tourism operators who have been virtually shut down for most of the year, while a massive $21.8 billion for seven new satellite hospitals in the south east of Queensland will be a boost for the health and construction industries.
 
Businesses will continue to receive $1.3 billion in payroll tax relief and $1 billion in interest free loans from the government, so that is a big win for businesses that have struggled throughout much of 2020.
 
Overall, it’s a budget that has followed the lead of the federal government as well as other states in providing massive support for small businesses after a tough year, and one that will hopefully lead to a stronger recovery in 2021.