ASIC has today outlined its approach and broader vision for working with small business with the launch of its Small Business Strategy 2017-2020.
Speaking at the National Small Business Summit in Melbourne, ASIC Commissioner John Price said, 'ASIC's Small Business Strategy has been developed to explain the work we are doing to support small business.'
'It focuses on our three strategic priorities – being to engage, assist and protect - and outlines ASIC's initiatives to help small business succeed as a key driver of the Australian economy.
'ASIC will do this by:
- engaging with small business and government bodies, to understand and respond to the challenges and opportunities faced by small business;
- assisting small business through our registry services and by providing information and guidance;
- protecting small business through working to level the playing field for small business so that everyone is playing by the same rules'.
The specific actions that ASIC will focus on over the three years to 2019-20 are outlined in the Small Business Strategy.
Mr Price said, 'ASIC's interaction with small business is vast and occurs through direct engagement and via industry and government bodies responsible for assisting small business. We assist small business through our registry services and by providing information to build financial capability in current and future small business owners, by providing regulatory guidance and we alsoprotect small business through our ongoing surveillance, enforcement and policy work.
'An example of ASIC's work, together with the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman, is the changes by the big four banks to eliminate unfair terms from small business contracts.
'The contribution of the small business sector to the Australian economy is universally recognised. It employs half of Australia's workforce and makes up one fifth of Australia's gross domestic product.
'As ASIC's largest customer and stakeholder, ASIC is committed to promoting and acting in the interests of small business,' Mr Price said.
Small business is ASIC's largest customer and stakeholder. Of all Australian companies and businesses registered with ASIC, approximately 96 per cent are considered small businesses with fewer than 20 employees.
In March 2017, ASIC established an Office of Small Business to focus ASIC's efforts and initiatives to help small business succeed as a key driver of the Australian economy.
ASIC's MoneySmart First Business App was launched in February 2017, to assist young people considering going into business for themselves. The mobile app provides practical tips, checklists, case studies and links to additional information relating to developing and running a small business.