A LANDMARK international conference currently being conducted by the Institute of Public Accountants (IPA) in conjunction with the IPA Deakin SME Research Centre, will focus on the productivity crisis facing the Australian economy.
“In forming the Australian Small Business White Paper, we asked small businesses across Australia what was keeping those businesses awake at night,” IPA chief executive officer, Andrew Conway said.
“The productivity growth rate in Australia has declined dramatically over the past 20 years, so we need to fix this if we are to protect Australia’s standard of living. If we don’t arrest the decline in productivity growth there will be a worsening of quality of life for our future generations.
"We need to take some of the burden away; to support small business to achieve the best that they can. In short we need to make Australia the best country in the world to start and operate a small business," Prof. Conway said.
“We have had some successes along the way including establishing the SME Research Centre, purely focused on better policy outcomes to drive small business productivity; the first of its kind in the world.
“Our Small Business White Paper also gained support for a number of our recommendations including loan guarantee schemes and the establishment of the securitisation fund. But we still have much work to do to address Australia’s productivity crisis; we need government, regulators and policy setters to think ‘small’ first when it comes to forming policy," he said.
“Small businesses are doing it tough; they are staying awake at night as they often put their house, family and well-being on the line as they strive to survive.
"As such, the IPA is seeking to build the evidence around mental health in small business continue to deliver practical training and support to boost the quality of life of small businesses,” Prof. Conway said.