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Is high SME confidence just a ‘Turnbull bounce’?

Australia’s SME revenue performance has hit heights not seen since September 2011, and revenue decline is on the, um, decline.

And no, it’s not simply a Turnbull bounce.

The strongest SME revenue performance of the last four years, and five year low in the proportion of businesses experiencing revenue decline, was captured in the March 2015 MYOB Business Monitor.

But if the Canning by-election is any guide, this confidence will only be bolstered by Malcolm Turnbull’s rise to PM. In his post-coup speech he cited Tony Abbott’s inability to provide ‘economic leadership’ and ‘the economic confidence that business needs’ as his primary reasons for the challenge.

The Abbott government’s seeming reluctance to tackle key reforms would certainly have affected business confidence. So if Malcolm can provide a clear vision for the future, a plan for how to get there, and the ability to effectively communicate this plan to bring the rest of us along with them so we can execute the plan, he’ll give SMEs – and the rest of the country – a real boost.

However the reality is the economy faces several challenges; so new Treasurer Scott Morrison’s job won’t be easy.

Which makes the confidence in the MYOB Business Monitor from earlier this year all the more important.

It appears changes to tax policy will be one of the levers the Turnbull government will pull in order to kick-start the flagging economy. A key part of Morrison’s role will therefore be pitching the need for tax reform, and galvanising the electorate so we can behave like adults and actually debate the issues (rather than continually sling mud at each other).

SME confidence will stay strong if the new government listens to Australia’s more than 2 million small businesses and articulates the need for tax reform so we can remove the barriers holding SMEs back.

All the SME sector asks is for the government to create an environment that allows us to thrive – so we can get on with the job of creating jobs.