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ACCC: Small Business Concerns Rising

ACCC: Small Business Concerns Rising

Small business enquiries and complaints continue to grow, with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) advising there were more than 7,600 contacts in the 2016 first half.

The ACCC has today released its Small business in focus report, detailing key developments over the last six months.

“We’re continuing to see an increasing number of contacts from the Australian SME sector,” ACCC deputy chairman Dr Michael Schaper commented.

“These contacts have been particularly concerned about misleading conduct by other firms, consumer guarantees and agricultural issues.”

Among the developments highlighted by the report, the ACCC continues to receive reports of losses to scams targeting small businesses, with $1.6 million lost.

The report notes that the ACCC’s 2015 Targeting Scams report, released in May this year, showed that the most significant scams affecting small businesses last year included false billing, overpayment and ransomware scams, with this trend appearing to be continuing into 2016.

The report additionally notes that there have been more than half a million visits to the ACCC’s business webpages, and that there were more than 12,000 users of the ACCC’s online education programs.

“The number of small businesses contacting the ACCC with concerns has risen steadily over the past few years,” Schaper commented. “The current review of the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) provides a valuable opportunity for small business to speak up and ensure that their concerns are taken into account during that process.

“Concerns about changes to new credit card surcharging laws in September, and new changes to the ACL that will extend protections from unfair contract terms in business-to-business dealings in November, are expected to generate significant interest from the small business community.”

The report can be found here.

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