WARNING FRAUDULENT ASIC EMAIL SCAM: While modern IT provides small businesses with fast labour-saving means to conduct their businesses it also bring opportunity for crooks to scam un-witting small businesses, the latest being the report from SmartCompany (copied below), under the heading: ‘Thousands hit by fraudulent ASIC email, as SMEs warned of an EOFY scam rush’, that advises: “A malicious email impersonating the Australian Securities and Investments Commission and targeted at time-poor small business owners has been sent to tens of thousands of recipients, with experts warning these scams are likely to become more frequent as the end of financial year approaches.

The attack, uncovered by Mailguard, comes in the form of a fake company name renewal notice and appears to be sent by ASIC, with the email body including ASIC branding and the commission’s privacy policy.

ASBFEO: To understand the great and important work the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman (ASBFEO), Kate Carnell, is doing on behalf of small biusinesses you only have to click on her latest ASBFEO Newsletter – Issue No. 7 below, the contents of which is a poignant demonstration of the great and important work she is doing on behalf of small biusinesses. Her statement: “When you believe in a cause, you feel driven to see things through” is a reflection of her dedication to the fulfillment of her role as the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman, for which she is to be highly commended.

BIG BANKS: It seems that with some not so subtle “encouraging” by our Federal Parliament the big banks are coming to heel with their small business clients, In a report in The Australian, 30.5.17 (copied below), says: “Part of the reason for the lower bankruptcy actions will be the fact that for some time small enterprises have been much more cautious in their borrowing from banks . . . But a significant second reason for the fall in bankruptcy is the fact that the banks are paying a big price for their decision to take on the Australian Parliament and not change their small business overdraft agreements to comply with the unfair contracts act.

BIG END OF TOWN: Another welcome initiative to protect small businesses from the big end of town was also reported in The Australian, 30.5.17 (copied below): “Most of Australia’s big corporations have at last woken up to the fact that, collectively, they are no longer our largest employers and the community and the Parliament are demanding they act as good community citizens to boost national prosperity. And, if they don’t, there will be punishment, not always logically delivered, as the banks have just discovered.

In this context, May 29, 2017 was a historic day because the Business Council of Australia [that represents the big end of town] changed course and introduced an Australian Suppliers Payment code whereby signatory companies agree to pay eligible Australian small business suppliers on-time and within 30 days of receiving a correct invoice.

So the wheel is turning, as the result of some initiatives that have been implemented by the Federal Government to protect small businesses from the ravages of the big bad banks and the big end of town is starting to get results. Hallelujah!

DOOM, GLOOM & RECESSION?: The Australian, June 1, 2017 under the heading ‘Retail decline a threat to growth: NAB’s Alan Oster’, reported “The nation’s fragile retail sector is already in recession, according to National Australia Bank chief economist Alan Oster, and this could drag the economy down as anxious consumers rein in spending on discretionary goods such as fashion and apparel. Mr Oster described retail as being in a “terrible’’ state.” (copied below),

That sentiment was also echoed by a report on the same day in The West Australian under the heading ‘WA worst job-loss black spot”, stating: “A measure by the NAB of sales . . . showed retail spending slowed through the first three months, spearheaded by a 2.8 per cent fall amongst Perth shoppers. Spending by West Australians fell sharply in areas including construction, transport and postal services, retail trade and health care.

And, just when you thought it not safe to go outside The Australian, today (June 2), 2017 reports: “Retail sales rebound sharply in April. Australian retail sales rebounded sharply in April, led by strong demand for food sold by cafes and restaurants as well as for products in department stores.” (Source ABS) Confused?