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Business News NSW Northern Rivers

INSURANCE BECOMING A MAJOR CHALLENGE FOR RECOVERY

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Business NSW regional manager Jane Laverty
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INSURANCE BECOMING A MAJOR CHALLENGE FOR RECOVERY

The state’s peak business organisation, Business NSW says its members have named insurance as the biggest negative cost driver for their businesses.
“There’s no doubt that businesses need the ability to protect against catastrophic loss. We are seeing this clearly in the Northern Rivers right now. Without these protections, business owners become personally liable which in not tenable and this makes NSW less globally competitive,” said Business NSW Regional Manager Jane Laverty
“As insurance premiums increase and risk becomes more ‘uninsurable’ or unaffordable through existing market mechanisms, we are at a moment when Government, partnered with industry, need to consider alternative models so that we remain globally competitive,” Mrs Laverty said.
“The NSW Government and business has led the world in financial service innovation, and we now have an opportunity to re-think how business can obtain coverage, price risk, and continue to thrive in a fast-changing world.
Business NSW is currently exploring ways to improve the system, whether it be through legislation, Discretionary Mutual Funds (DMFs), other insurance alternatives and other policy settings that ensure the sustainability and resilience of NSW businesses.
“We welcome market innovators to engage with us to drive this change.” Says Mrs Laverty.
“Our research suggests that the problem is much bigger than just insurance costs with wider trends around insurability presenting significant challenges for businesses globally. These trends include:
• Premiums escalating year on year from 20% to over 100% in some cases;
• Product exclusions rising, leading to businesses being under-insured;
• Insurance sub-segments exhibiting market failure where risk is either uninsurable or unaffordable;
• Number of uninsurable businesses even after decades of coverage;
• Number of insurance providers leaving the market;
• Urgent need for Government and industry intervention/reinvention. This will likely require new legislation (and in some instances underwrite some risks) to ensure businesses can continue to operate
• Review of alternative models, such as, Discretionary Mutual Funds (DMF) that could provide an alternative for businesses that can group common risks
• The rise of natural disasters (bushfires, floods, etc) and geo-political instability raising the risk that insurance costs limit growth for several business sectors.
“Speaking with businesses across the region this week, there is the obvious concern about staying in a town that is uninsurable and just as much fear from those with previously acceptable premiums that this will no longer be the case and will have a significant impact on their business costs”. Mrs Laverty said.

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Business News

How Australian Women Entrepreneurs are Defying the Odds to Build Successful Businesses

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How Australian Women Entrepreneurs are Defying the Odds to Build Successful Businesses

 

One-third of Australian businesses are led by women, and this number is steadily increasing. Women entrepreneurs in Australia are not only more educated than their male counterparts but are also pioneering innovations in social impact and environmental sustainability. However, significant barriers persist, including gaps in opportunities, networks, resources, and investment.

Key Findings from the Women’s Agenda Report

A new report from Women’s Agenda, in partnership with Commonwealth Bank and CommBank Women in Focus, sheds light on the challenges and opportunities for women entrepreneurs in Australia. The report, which surveyed over 1,000 women business owners and startup founders in April 2024, highlights the following:

  1. Optimism and Determination: Despite the challenges, 75% of respondents are focused on expansion, and over half plan to hire new talent within the next year.
  2. Social Impact: A significant 56% of women-led businesses are dedicated to making a positive impact in areas such as care, health, social justice, and combating family violence.
  3. Economic Challenges: Inflation and the cost of living are major hurdles, with 74% citing these as primary challenges to growth. Additionally, over a third of respondents feel that current government policies negatively impact their businesses.
  4. Talent Shortages: More than one in five women entrepreneurs are struggling with finding and retaining talent.
  5. Gender-Based Barriers: Bias from prospective investors and unpaid care obligations are additional burdens for women founders.

Expert Insights and Strategies

Julie Mathers, CEO of Snuggle Hunny, sees current economic challenges as opportunities for entrepreneurs to become more focused on their businesses. She believes that surviving the current “storm” will make businesses stronger and more resilient.

Dr. Elaine Stead, a venture capitalist with Main Sequence, emphasizes the importance of networks. She advises women entrepreneurs to leverage their networks for support and survival during tough economic times. She underscores that the first priority for small business owners should be to survive the immediate challenges before focusing on growth.

Opportunities and Support Networks

The report highlights that access to networks is the top driver of success for female founders. Over 80% of respondents identified their biggest support as a network that includes other women entrepreneurs, stakeholders invested in their success, and supportive personal connections. This finding underscores the importance of relationship-building in business.

Conclusion

Despite facing numerous challenges, Australian women entrepreneurs are demonstrating resilience and optimism. Their commitment to innovation and social impact, combined with their determination to overcome barriers, is driving their businesses forward. The findings from the Women’s Agenda report reveal that with the right support, networks, and resources, women-led businesses can thrive even in challenging economic climates.

 

For more business news, click here.

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Business News

Fair Work Commission Upholds 3.75% Increase in Australia’s Minimum and Award Wages to Tackle Cost-of-Living Pressures

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Fair Work Commission Upholds 3.75% Increase in Australia’s Minimum and Award Wages to Tackle Cost-of-Living Pressures

 

In a significant move aimed at bolstering the economic security of Australian workers, the Fair Work Commission (FWC) has announced a 3.75% increase in both the minimum and award wages, effective from July 1. This decision, following extensive deliberation, reflects a multifaceted approach to address prevailing cost-of-living challenges while fostering equitable economic growth.

The national minimum wage is set to rise to $24.10 per hour and $915.91 per week, based on a standard 38-hour workweek. This increment, amounting to approximately $33 extra per week, is poised to benefit approximately 2.6 million workers nationwide, constituting approximately 20.7% of the Australian workforce.

The FWC’s decision is underpinned by a thorough assessment of prevailing economic conditions, with a keen focus on ensuring that wage adjustments align with forecasted wages growth for the year 2024. This strategic approach seeks to strike a balance between addressing immediate cost-of-living pressures and facilitating sustainable wage growth in the long term.

Furthermore, the commission’s rationale acknowledges the unique vulnerabilities faced by workers reliant on modern award minimum wages. These employees, often engaged in part-time, casual, or predominantly female-dominated roles, constitute a significant portion of those affected by the wage increase. By providing a modest real wage boost, the decision aims to uplift the economic wellbeing of these segments of the workforce, thereby fostering greater income equality.

However, the FWC’s deliberations also took into account the broader economic landscape, recognizing the diverse impacts of the wage increase across different industries and sectors. While overall labour market conditions remain robust, certain sectors face distinct challenges, necessitating a nuanced approach to wage adjustments to ensure sustained growth and stability.

In response to the ruling, stakeholders from various quarters have articulated their perspectives. The Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) has welcomed the decision, hailing it as a significant victory for workers’ rights and economic justice. Conversely, business organisations have expressed apprehensions regarding the potential impact on operational costs, particularly for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) grappling with existing margin pressures.

For SME owners like Edward Clayton, the wage increase presents a dual-edged dilemma. While recognising the imperative of fair wages to address cost-of-living pressures and retain a motivated workforce, he also confronts the challenge of balancing increased labor costs with maintaining competitive pricing strategies.

Against this backdrop, Treasury Secretary Steven Kennedy has emphasised the importance of ensuring that wage growth remains in line with inflation, thereby safeguarding macroeconomic stability. While the wage increase serves as a crucial mechanism to address immediate affordability concerns for workers, policymakers remain vigilant against potential inflationary risks, underscoring the imperative of productivity-driven growth to support sustainable economic outcomes.

As the wage increase takes effect, its ripple effects are poised to reverberate across the economic landscape, shaping consumer spending patterns, business operations, and overall market dynamics. While providing much-needed relief for workers grappling with escalating living expenses, the decision underscores the intricate interplay between wage policies, economic resilience, and the pursuit of inclusive prosperity for all Australians.

 

For more business news, click here.

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Business News NSW Northern Rivers

Enter the 2024 Lismore Business Excellence Awards

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Enter the 2024 Lismore Business Excellence Awards

 

The 2024 Lismore Business Excellence Awards are now open, inviting businesses within the 2480 postcode to showcase their achievements and contributions to the local economy.

Organised by Business Lismore, also known as the Lismore Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the awards aim to recognise and honour outstanding business achievements. These awards celebrate businesses that have persevered through challenges, embraced opportunities, and contributed to the growth and prosperity of Lismore.

Why Enter?

  • Recognition: Gain acknowledgment for your hard work and achievements.
    Networking: Connect with other business leaders.
    Promotion: Increase your business’s visibility.
    Validation: Validate your strategies and operations.

Categories

There are 23 award categories covering a wide range of industries, ensuring every type of business has the opportunity to be recognised. Categories include:

  • Retail and Personal Services
  • Trade, Construction & Manufacturing
  • Business & Professional Services
  • Health, Care & Wellness Industries
  • Agriculture & Primary Industries
  • Tourism, Recreation and Visitor Experience

Event Details

  • Date: 10 August 2024
  • Location: Lismore Turf Club

How to Enter

To enter, visit the Business Lismore website for application details and submission guidelines.

Final Thoughts

The Lismore Business Excellence Awards offer a platform for businesses to gain the recognition they deserve and contribute to the overall vibrancy and economic health of Lismore. Business Lismore encourages all eligible businesses, regardless of size, to participate and celebrate the collective success of the Lismore business community.

 

For more local Lismore news, click here.

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