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Land tax, costs key concerns for SA business: BDO survey

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Early results from the BDO business survey find that the cost of doing business and land tax are major concerns in South Australia.

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BDO Partner, Corporate Finance, Tax & Advisory David Fechner is calling for all businesses to take the SA State Business Survey before it closes on Friday, to ensure they have a voice in the future of the state.

“By answering the survey, they are adding to the strength of the collective voice of business in SA,” says Fechner.

“A large number of SME’s speaking honestly and clearly, together, has far greater reach and impact on those in a position to enact change.

“Our SME’s are integral to the State’s economy and it’s important that South Australia hears their views, needs, opportunities and challenges.”

Fechner says that preliminary results indicate that almost half of respondents so far do not consider South Australia as a low cost place to do business when compared to other states, and that 46% of respondents say that the recent changes to Land Tax rates and aggregation are not fairer.

“SA is considered a lower cost place for business, but it is harder to grow and start a business here,” one respondent wrote.

“SA is no longer cost competitive. Land tax issues are putting investors off,” stated another.

The annual BDO SA State Business Survey forms the basis of the company’s efforts to lobby for a better deal for all South Australian businesses.

Fechner says the survey seeks the business community’s views and opinions on the state of the South Australian economy, the impacts of current policy on business and any necessary reforms.

“The State Business Survey results are published in an annual report that informs conversations with government, the opposition, industry bodies and the media in advocating for the state’s small to medium businesses,” he says.

“We are passionate supporters of the remarkable businesses we have in SA and the survey is our contribution to making sure their voices are heard.”

The survey, which takes less than 15 minutes to complete, asks business owners about their outlook for the coming year and their opinions on everything from the recent changes to payroll tax and land tax to what they’d ask the Premier about if they had five minutes alone with Steven Marshall.

One early responded didn’t hold back, replying that “South Australians are more conservative and don’t change easily”.

“More can be done by the Government to help with this… In the UK I recently heard ‘The British know they are behind and so do something about it. South Australians don’t realise they are behind so they don’t take advantage of innovations even when it is the best thing for them’.”

Other responses focused on government helping businesses gain a foothold internationally or supporting local companies employing South Australians and growing the state.

One respondent wanted more positive stories from the state.

“Lot Fourteen is great. Get some positive stories and promote the life out of them. We need the feeling of success in SA.”

Fechner says any and all South Australian businesses – those with day to day experiences of doing business in and from SA – should take the survey, but in particular SME’s across all industries and regions of the state.

“These are the business owners with big ideas, innovative thinking and daily challenges we should all hear about and learn from,” he says.

The BDO SA State Business Survey is open until Friday, 23 August. Click here to take the survey and help drive the direction for business in South Australia.

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