Media releasePublished on 16 May 2022

Xero survey reveals Australian small business ownersʼ biggest concerns ahead of Federal Election

Survey uncovers what policies small businesses want to see from parties on the campaign trail

MELBOURNE, 9 May 2022 -Xero, the global small business platform, has revealed the biggest concerns for Australiaʼs small business owners in the lead up to the 2022 Australian Federal Election, with technology, supply chain pressure and staff challenges top of mind in the lead up to casting their vote on 21 May.

Research of more than 500 small businesses across Australia, commissioned by Xero, uncovered small business owners are highly engaged with issues that affect their industry and broader community. It found over 40 percent of respondents say policies that support small businesses are their top factor in considering what political party to vote for.

The insights also revealed technology adoption is lagging for small business owners, with the vast majority of respondents (78.6 percent) having concerns about, or not considering technology important, in the success of their small business. Alongside this, 40 percent of small business owners surveyed donʼt feel prepared to move to technologies such as eInvoicing, presenting a clear opportunity for them to be brought on a journey of digitization and technology uptake over the next period.

Key insights:

  • Further concerns for small businesses surveyed include supply chain disruptions (23.7%), cost of wages (22.6%), and staff shortages (21.3%)
  • 32 percent of small businesses surveyed are concerned about COVID-19 in 2022, however feel more optimistic – claiming it will be better than previous years
  • A third of respondents (33.1%) believe a cash rebate or grant to spend on technology would help them make use of more digital tools in their businesses
  • 65.7 percent of respondents believe their business data is very important, and want full control over it and who they share it with.

These survey results reveal a clear opportunity to help small businesses take advantage of technology to carry them into the future

Joseph Lyons Managing Director, Australia and Asia

“Small businesses are central to our communities and the success of our economy. As we come to a significant, democratic decision for the nation, itʼs important their needs are taken into account. These survey results reveal a clear opportunity to help small businesses take advantage of technology to carry them into the future,” says Joseph Lyons, Xero Managing Director, Australia and Asia.

“As the way we do business evolves, digital tools and solutions like eInvoicing will ultimately help small businesses be more effective and navigate future challenges. Small businesses have adapted to the disruptions of the pandemic, however we must now find ways to help them thrive. By prioritizing digitised business processes, we can help simplify regulatory compliance and support more small businesses to experience the advantages technology brings,” added Lyons.

COVID-19 recovery still a priority

COVID-19 recovery is still a big priority for small business owners, with 25.5 percent of respondents concerned they will not recover to pre-COVID levels within a year, and a quarter (24.9 percent) concerned about a need for support packages for future COVID-19 challenges.

The effects of closed borders and limited skills have had a knock on effect on small businesses too, with 40 percent of respondents noting their business suffered from a tech skills shortage over the last two years, while nearly a quarter (24.7 percent) of small business owners surveyed have noted they are relying on a new government and policies to hire new people for their business.

“Technology, upskilling and digital support for small businesses have been focusses of the election campaign from both sides. As these progress, we hope to see small business owners, and the accounting and bookkeeping community that supports them, championed throughout discussions. We look forward to seeing how the election outcome will better serve the small business community in the long term,” concludes Lyons.

ENDS

Media Contacts

Xero Australia | Sophie McCullen | 0435 913 863 | sophie.mccullen@xero.com

About Xero

Xero is a global small business platform with 3.3 million subscribers which includes a core accounting solution, payroll, workforce management, expenses and projects. Xero also provides access to financial services, and an ecosystem of more than 1,000 connected apps and more than 300 connections to banks and other financial institutions. Through Xeroʼs open platform, small businesses can connect to a range of solutions that help them run their business and manage their finances. For three consecutive years (2020-2022) Xero was included in the Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index. In 2021, Xero was included in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI), powered by the S&P Global Corporate Sustainability Assessment. Xero has been named as a FIFA Womenʼs Football partner under FIFAʼs new commercial structure

About Xeroʼs survey

The survey was commissioned by Xero Australia and undertaken by Pureprofile to analyze the sentiments and expectations of small businesses ahead of the Australian Federal Election. In March 2022, Pureprofile conducted an online quantitative survey, interviewing more than 538 sole traders and small businesses with fewer than 20 employees. The sample was representative of Australia by state, in line with the 2016 ABS census data.

For all media inquiries, please contact the Xero media team.

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