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Banks forced to change small business contracts. A huge win for fairness!

Thursday, August 24, 2017

We’re mighty proud of the work we did, over close to a decade, to achieve the 2015 unfair contract laws protecting small business people. Here’s the tracking of our campaign from 2009. And it’s pretty fair to say that, without us, the laws would not have come into existence.

In that long struggle the banks consistently opposed the unfair contract laws. During that campaign one bank, NAB, was found by the courts to have engaged in ‘misleading and deceptive conduct’ in relation to a business mortgage. In our view NAB’s bank officers arguably behaved as they did because NAB’s small business finance contracts seemingly gave them unfair power. More...


Like naughty schoolchildren, banks now complying with unfair contract laws

Thursday, June 01, 2017

Readers might recall our news alert headline, “we’ll only do what we’re made to do!” This was a senior counsel from one of the banks responding to our efforts about eight years ago asking them to support the unfair contract laws.

Then in March this year we said that NAB was trashing its own small business brand because it had, in our view, lied about changing its small business contracts to comply with the now operational unfair contract laws.  More...


Tax scams and others. If it’s too good to be true, it usually is!

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

If you’ve followed the revelations of the $165 million tax fraud, you’ll know that one of the ATO’s top enforcement officers allegedly sought to cut a deal for his son, one of the ringleaders of the fraud

This case, of which we’ll hear lots more, highlights how self-employed people can get caught up in scams quite quickly. The ACCC is always warning us about scams and it pays to keep watch on the ACCC scam websites: here and here.   More...


NAB destroys its own small business brand

Friday, March 03, 2017

The National Australia Bank (NAB) has been caught out, in our view, in bald-faced lying to its small business customers. In so doing, it has trashed its own brand. Again, our view is that, for small business people, NAB has just declared that it can’t be trusted.

The issue arises from NAB’s issuing arguably false advice to its small business customers that it has amended its loan contracts to comply with the new unfair contract laws. We obtained a copy of the NAB advice and its new 100-page contract and forwarded them to Robert Gottliebsen of The Australian, initially thinking that this was a ‘good news’ story. But NO!! More...


The innovation small business conference

Wednesday, June 08, 2016

We’re heavily involved in assisting to organise the National Small Business Conference (Melbourne, 11-12 August)  which we strongly recommend you consider attending, if you have the time.

The conference is ‘into’ innovation. But there are limits! Watch this very funny YouTube clip presented by US comedienne Julia Louis-Dreyfus. It’s amazing what innovators can do with the humble AA battery! Ha! More...


Super battle over the retirement money of ordinary Australians

Sunday, February 21, 2016

There’s a pretty dispiriting battle going on at the moment between the big superannuation funds over who gets to control the billions of dollars of ordinary workers’ superannuation money.

The Assistant Treasurer, Kelly O’Dwyer, is trying to bring in superannuation fund disclosure laws that were actually urged by Labor’s own 2010 review into superannuation. Here’s the Treasury discussion paper on superannuation disclosure. More...


Killing competition. Murder or manslaughter?

Thursday, January 28, 2016

There’s an important debate happening at the moment about whether small business people can effectively compete in an allegedly open ‘competitive’ Australian economy.

It’s to do with whether or not the ‘effects’ test is introduced. It’s about how to stop big business abusing dominant market power. Big business strongly opposes the effects test. Small business (including us) strongly supports the change. More...


So big businesses don’t like having their powers cut back. How surprising!

Monday, August 10, 2015

Big business is angry that the Abbott government is proposing to make anti-competitive behaviour by them more difficult. New laws would restrict big businesses from abusing their market power. Small Business Minister Bruce Billson has hit back saying big business is talking “utter nonsense”. We agree.

Just recently, Coles had to refund $12m to 200 suppliers due to unconscionable conduct by Coles. And the competition regulator (ACCC) is finally responding to evidence of big business cartels in the construction industry. What’s odd is that unions and Labor seem be lining up with big business on this. More...


Some small business, common sense, pre-Budget moves

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

It came as something of a revelation that if you started a new small business, the professional costs of setting it up—that is, lawyers, accountants, marketing advisers and so on—could not immediately be declared as business tax deductions. No wonder people get angry with the tax system. Just when business expenses bleed money from the start up, the government screws the business.

Well, thankfully, this is to change. In a pre-budget announcement from Treasurer Hockey and Small Business Minister Billson, these expenses will be claimable immediately.  It’s about time we saw some common (tax) sense! More...


Australian Business Name Registration easier

Saturday, December 21, 2013

ICA board member Kathie Thomas has been having discussions with ASIC over the last few months on problems with Australian Business Name Registration procedures. ASIC has written to Kathie detailing improvements. Here’s ASIC’s letterMore...



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