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Australian small businesses stuck in digital dark ages

Australian small businesses are less likely to invest in, use, earn from or offer customers the use of digital technologies than their Asia-Pacific counterparts, according to CPA Australia. CPA Australia surveyed 4,227 businesses in 11 markets about their operations and plans. Australian small businesses won the “wooden spoon” for digital transformation:

In addition, Australian small businesses were the second least likely to earn revenue from online sales and third least likely to offer customers the choice of digital payment technologies. CPA Australia Chief Executive Officer Andrew Hunter labelled the results disappointing, saying; “Other markets made major in-roads on digital transformation during the pandemic. Clearly, Australian small businesses need more help than they’re getting to leave the digital dark ages behind.”

Unsurprisingly, most businesses in the region reported that COVID-19 had a major impact on their business. However, the consequences appear to have been felt slightly more strongly in Australia. Only 22.3 per cent of Australian small businesses grew last year – the second lowest result of any market surveyed. Only 8.3 per cent of Australian small businesses added employees – the lowest result.

Despite the impact of COVID-19, 36.1 per cent of Australian small businesses reported they made no “major change” in response to the pandemic, the highest result of any market surveyed. They did not, for example, access government support, negotiate rent reductions or loan holidays, delay taxation payments or reduce capital expenditure.

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Mark Atterby

Mark Atterby has 18 years media, publishing and content marketing experience.

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