Business Update – 31 August 2023

Business Update – 31 August 2023

Business Update

Welcome to our Monthly Digest – stay in the know with some recent news updates relevant to business and the economy.

Cybersecurity tips for SMEs

Earlier this year, Australia has seen a series of high-profile cyber attacks that shook the business world, resulting in multimillion-dollar financial losses for numerous organisations. As Australian businesses increasingly rely on digital infrastructure, the need for robust cybersecurity practices has never been more critical. Here are three critical cybersecurity challenges that every business leader should be aware of, as well as some practical measures that they can adopt to detect and address risks proactively.

‘Retail recession’: Small businesses respond to “super cautious” shoppers as turnover dips

Australian shoppers are now “super cautious” about their spending habits, one small business operator says, as the effects of long-running inflation and interest rate concerns lead some economists to declare a “retail recession”. Data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) on Thursday confirmed retail turnover dropped -0.5% in the June quarter, marking the third consecutive quarterly decline.

One in 10 retailers, builders and cafes could go bust

More than one in 10 firms in the retail, hospitality and construction sectors are at risk of going bankrupt in the next 12 months, as high interest rates and the slowdown in consumer spending pile pressure on company finances. Research from credit bureau Illion, released to The Australian Financial Reviewfound that 14 per cent of food services firms, 11 per cent of construction companies and 10 per cent of retailers were at high risk of failing in the coming year.

New business launches are slowing, as COSBOA draws attention to small business resiliency

The number of new businesses entering the Australian economy has slumped for three consecutive quarters, as the Council of Small Business Organisations Australia (COSBOA) suggests would-be entrepreneurs are biding their time to launch a new enterprise.

July sees unemployment rise: 3.7%

Australia’s unemployment rate experienced a notable uptick, reaching 3.7% in July, according to recent data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

‘A lot of questions’ for ATO after $1.6 billion paid to GST scammers

The Australian Taxation Office has “a lot of questions” to answer after a fraudulent scheme promoted by social media influencers cost Australian taxpayers more than $1.6 billion. The fraud involved more than 50,000 people creating fake businesses and income statements to receive unwarranted General Service Tax (GST) refunds from the ATO.

Major warning over tax return fraud

Australians have been warned to stay alert as a surge of elaborate scams impersonating the tax office emerge.

‘We can’t stop it’: The reality of Australia’s soon-to-be cashless society

An expert has predicted Australia will ditch bank notes and loose change in the next three to five years, and she’s shared a warning. While a move away from cash offers many benefits, Ms Wells warned we don’t often think about the “unintended consequences” that comes with it.

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