Small Business News You Can Use – October 2013

Here is a round-up of the latest business news relevant to you and your business.

More Australians Accessing Internet via Mobiles

Here at directSMS we keep telling you that for a fully functioning mobile marketing campaign you need to have a mobile optimised web site and the latest findings from the Australian Bureau of Statistics confirm why.

Nearly 20,000 terabytes of data was downloaded by Australians with internet access connections via a mobile handset in the three months to June 2013, which is an increase of 6,000 terabytes according to figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

“Download volumes for mobile handsets have really seen explosive growth,” said Lesley Martin from the ABS, “and while it’s true that the number of mobile handset internet subscribers has also increased, that’s been much smaller growth.”

The total volume of data downloaded via mobile handsets between April and June 2013 was 19,636 terabytes, which is a 43 percent increase from the previous period of October to December 2012.

Between December 2012 and June 2013, the number of mobile handset internet subscribers grew by 13 percent.

“Mobile handset downloads contribute a small percentage of our total internet downloads – in the three months to June, Australia’s total download volume hit 657,000 terabytes, which is up 18 percent compared to the three months ended December,” Ms Martin said.

“Australia had 12,358,000 internet subscribers – not including mobile handsets – at the end of June 2013, showing a three percent annual increase.

“In pure percentage terms fibre has been the fastest growing type of connection, with a 26 percent increase since December 2012; but it should be remembered that this growth is from a low base.

“There’s now 115,000 fibre connections compared to 6.2 million mobile wireless broadband connections such as a dongle or tablet SIM card, 4.8 million by DSL, 93,000 by satellite, and 227,000 still on dial-up.”

Further information is available in Internet Activity, Australia, June 2013 (cat. no. 8153.0).

If you need help or advice on establishing a mobile optimised web site, contact us and we’ll be happy to help.

Four NSW Councils Aim to Be ‘Small Business Friendly

The NSW Business Chamber has welcomed the NSW Government’s piloting of its proposal for a ‘Small Business Friendly’ certification program for local councils to encourage them to be more responsive to small businesses.

The pilot program, in partnership with the Office of the Small Business Commissioner, will be trialled in Parramatta City Council along with Boorowa, Tenterfield and Lismore representing regional and rural councils.

The Small Business Friendly Councils pilot will:

  • Develop a ‘Small Business Friendly Charter’ outlining key principles for becoming ‘Small Business Friendly’;
  • Provide a diagnostic evaluation tool to assist Councils to identify their strengths and weaknesses in becoming ‘Small Business Friendly’;
  • Provide a tier recognition system for Councils to recognise their efforts in engaging with their small business community.

“This initiative is about getting Local Councils to be a helpful partner to their small business communities, rather than a hindrance,” said Stephen Cartwright, CEO of the NSW Business Chamber.

“Local Councils have frequently topped the NSW Business Chamber’s annual Red Tape Survey as generating the biggest red tape burden for small businesses – beating even the Australian Tax Office!”

The New South Wales Business Chamber will survey businesses in the pilot areas to see if the pilot has been successful.  To find out more about this initiative click here.

Have Your Say in NSW Industry Priorities for 2014

The NSW Government is seeking input from interested parties to help shape its industry policy priorities for the State in 2014.  A consultation period, which opened on 2 October 2013 and will run until 25 October, is asking businesses to provide feedback and suggestions to support the Government’s ongoing efforts to partner with industry to drive productivity and competitiveness.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Trade & Investment Andrew Stoner said industry input will be vital in helping to focus on the actions most likely to drive innovation and productivity.

Potential action areas for industry feedback in the 2014 priorities consultation document include:

  • Making it easier for NSW businesses to compete for NSW Government contracts;
  • Promoting the sustainability and growth of small businesses in NSW;
  • Helping business and industry meet skills shortages in NSW.

The consultation document is available for comment on the NSW Government’s Have Your Say website.