Ready responders feel confident

MORE than 55 per cent of respondents to the Small Business Development Corporation’s Ready Response Network have enjoyed steady business performance since the GST’s introduction.

The network is a group of small business owners nominated by industry associations, Business Enterprise Centre managers or chambers of commerce to provide quick responses to topical questions sent out via the Internet. It gives an indication of the sector’s underlying attitudes to key small business issues.

Acting SBDC managing director Bruce Macfarlane said network participants were asked how their business had performed since the GST’s introduction and how they rated their overall understanding of the new tax.

He said the results showed many businesses had weathered demand highs and lows over the past few months.

When asked to rate their overall GST understanding, 57 per cent of respondents said they had a reasonable understanding of the system, 12 per cent said their knowledge was adequate and 31 per cent said it was thorough.

“Business service providers such as accountants have picked up a lot of extra work since the implementation of the new tax system, while other sectors have found themselves preoccupied by their reporting obligations,” Mr Macfarlane said.

A business operator from the manufacturing industry recounted spending two weeks checking figures for July and August before submitting a Business Activity Statement.

Another small business operator said the GST would have a positive impact on his business eventually but a feeling of uncertainty and ongoing revisions to the system had caused a slowdown.

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