Running and operating a small business comes with many challenges – ensuring you have the right balance in staff numbers, understanding Australia’s complex industrial relations system, and navigating tough economic times to name just a few.

That’s why it’s vital that governments (at all levels) enact measures that make running a small business both easier and more affordable. It is for this reason that last week, the NRA welcomed the Prime Minister’s announcement that the Federal Government has increased the tax deduction for business assets.

The PM’s announcement revealed that the instant asset write-off has been increased from $20,000 to $25,000, with the scheme also extending until June next year.

The NRA is very supportive of this measure and we believe that it will benefit small business retailers in several important ways.

We anticipate this will provide the catalyst for many businesses to make purchasing decisions now, which would otherwise have remained in the planning stage until the next financial year. From previous experience, we know that discretionary retail activity slows in the lead up to a federal election, so the importance of any measure supporting small business and assisting them to keep their employees in work cannot be overstated.

We also know many of you have taken full advantage of the $20,000 instant asset write-off since it first came into effect in the 2015 federal budget. The extension of this scheme will assist those of you operating a small business to make further investments in new systems and equipment to help you and your staff succeed.

Meanwhile, it has also been pleasing to see the Labor Opposition commit to its own policy to encourage small business investment. If elected, the ALP has pledged to make their scheme permanent, while allowing small businesses to deduct 20% off any new asset worth over $20,000. Bi-partisan support on this issue is a very good thing to see and we believe this bodes well for small business.

With the federal election almost certain now to be held on either May 11 or 18 the NRA will be outlining the key issues facing retail between now and polling day. We are committed to working constructively with whichever Party forms government to advance the interests of one of Australia’s most important sectors.

Retail faces numerous challenges as we move into the second month of 2019 and it’s important that elected representatives in Canberra enact measures that lift the burden off running a small business. The extension of the instant asset write-off is a good start, but there’s more that needs to be done and we hope to see policies from both major Parties that lift the burden off the shoulders of the small business community.

I hope you have a great week!