Smaller stores face rough weather in major malls

Financial Review, Feb 2, 2021 – 4.11pm More than one-third of retail outlets in the country’s big malls are controlled by smaller, independent players, raising the risk of further store closures as government pandemic assistance programs wind up, according to an analysis by the PAR Group. The analysis of 31 major malls – covering nearly 10,000 tenancies – reveals that …

Perth small businesses ‘better prepared’ but fearful The West Australian, 2 February 2021

Imogen van Haagen-Iriks, Founder of 20FIT Australia at her studio in Nedlands, Perth. Credit: Ross Swanborough/The West Australian Some of WA’s small business owners felt they were prepared heading into Perth’s shock five-day lockdown but others are set to bleed $11,000 over the week. The State’s peak business body has warned the shutdown — triggered on Sunday after a hotel quarantine guard tested positive to COVID-19 — would …

Five small business groups urge the ACCC to block Woolworths’ acquisition of PFD Food

SmartCompany, February 2, 2021 Small business groups are urging the competition regulator to block Woolworths’ proposed acquisition of family-run PFD Food Services. In a letter to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) seen by SmartCompany, five food service and retail industry organisations have called on the regulator to stop the $552 million merger, which they say will boost “the …

Axing of SME patent regime paves the way for ideas theft, ombudsman warns

SmartCompany, September 10, 2019 Small business ombudsman Kate Carnell. The small business ombudsman is urging the federal government to backtrack on its plan to axe an innovation patent regime used by SMEs amid concern it could result in businesses having their ideas stolen. Last week a Senate committee gave the all-clear to a government bill which would abolish the innovation …

Closing the unfair contracts window

The Australian, September 5, 2019 ASIC took Federal Court action on Wednesday against Bank of Queensland Picture: Bloomberg It’s about time the second-tier banks got their act together on ­unfair contract terms affecting small businesses. The catalyst is likely to be the Treasury’s review of unfair contract term protections more so than ASIC’s Federal Court action on Wednesday against Bank …

The price of stamps is going up: Here’s why small businesses are happy about it

SmartCompany, August 8, 2019 Independent post offices have welcomed an Australia Post proposal to increase the price of stamps, as small businesses continue to struggle with declining letter volumes. The government-owned postie yesterday submitted a plan for a 10% increase in the basic postage rate for ordinary letters ⁠— a move estimated to cost average Aussie households an extra $1-2 …

‘No choice’: ACCC finds Google, Facebook market power makes life difficult for small businesses

Matthew Elmas / SmartCompany, Monday, July 29, 2019 ACCC Chair Rod Sims explaining the final report last Friday. Source: ACCC. Competition watchdog, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), has identified a series of concerns about the dealings between small businesses and digital platforms such as Facebook and Alphabet-owned Google. Releasing the results of its 17-month inquiry into digital platforms …

Short-stay rentals draw the short straw

The Australian, February 14, 2019 One of the world’s biggest holiday rental platforms has criticised the Australian government and tourism industry for being out of date and not making decisions in the interests of holidaymakers. HomeAway, the company ­behind accommodation website Stayz, says not one of the 72 men and women on the nation’s eight government-appointed tourism boards represents short-term rental …

Unlicensed operators in firing line as parliament agrees on Airbnb inquiry

WAtoday on 17.10.18 (EXTRACT) The WA Labor and Liberal parties have joined forces to set up a parliamentary inquiry into regulation of the state’s short-stay accommodation industry. Tension has erupted between owners of licensed short-stay businesses, such as hotels, serviced apartments and bed and breakfasts, and unlicensed, backyard operators who advertise through websites such as Airbnb. Planning Minister Rita Saffioti …

Beware a bank-bashing show trial of gotcha tricks and sob stories

The Australian, June 6, 2018 Lawyers, judges and legal institutions shine at some things and are dismal at others. The banking royal commission risks falling into the latter category. Using a simple scorecard of the three Ps — ­process, policy and populism — so far it’s not so good. Courts, judges and barristers following the rules of evidence excel at …