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SUMMARY OF FINDINGS
Outside of the capital cities the number of small businesses decreased by 1.0% to 611,476 between 1995-96 and 2000-01. Of the 50 SDs outside the capital cities, 15 recorded an increase in the number of small businesses over the period.
In capital city SDs the largest increases in total income for small business were recorded in Sydney and Melbourne, with a growth of over 22% from 1995-96 to 2000-01. Greater Hobart SD and Darwin SD were the slowest growing capital city SDs, with a growth in income of 3.0% and 7.9%, respectively.
Outside the capital cities, 10 SDs experienced growth in income greater than 22% between 1995-96 and 2000-01. Of these, Queensland and South Australia contained three each, while Victoria and Western Australia contained two each. The highest growth regions outside the capital cities were the South West SD in Queensland (42.4%), Kimberley SD in Western Australia (41.7%), Outer Adelaide in South Australia (37.4%) and the Central West SD in Queensland (31.2%).
A decline in total income to small business was recorded in four SDs. Three of these regions were in Western Australia: the Midlands SD (change in income was -1.1%), the South Eastern SD (-3.9%) and the Upper Great Southern SD (-8.8%). The Northern SD in South Australia was the fourth region, with a change in income of -4.8% over the period.
Between 1995-96 and 2000-01, the average income of small business grew in all regions. In the capital city SDs average income grew 12.9% to $307,532 while average expenses increased by 14.2% to $270,091. At the same time, in regions outside the capital cities, average income grew 15.3% to $235,364 while average expenses rose by 14.7% to $211,946.
EXPERIMENTAL ESTIMATES: NUMBER OF SMALL BUSINESSES AND TOTAL INCOME BY INDUSTRY, FOR SELECTED STATISTICAL DIVISIONS, 2000-01
EXPERIMENTAL ESTIMATES: AVERAGE ANNUAL GROWTH IN TOTAL INCOME OF SMALL BUSINESSES BY STATISTICAL DIVISION,
1995-96 to 2000-01
Source: ATO files for companies, partnerships and trusts and individuals for 1995-96 to 2000-01
SOURCE OF DATA
The data have been compiled using files provided to the ABS by the ATO. These files cover completed tax returns for companies, partnerships and trusts, and individuals declaring business income.
THE DEFINITION OF SMALL BUSINESS
The nature of the ATO data does not allow multi-location businesses to be identified and disaggregated. To enable regional estimates to be produced for a subset of the economy, the ABS created a small business definition designed to capture businesses which operate from only one location. A key assumption is that these small businesses are single location, or all locations are within the one region.
For the purposes of this publication and the experimental estimates provided within it, the definition of small business refers to those businesses whose total income or expenses were between $10,000 and $5m in the financial year.
LIMITATIONS OF DATA
The number of businesses operated by individuals and partnerships or trusts decreased in 2000-01. This decrease is against the trend of economic growth and is contrary to expectations. It may reflect a different focus from the ATO during 2000-01 with the introduction of The New Tax System and the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax. A lower number of business tax submissions may have been received by the due date and as a result this may have impacted on the number of business returns on the 2000-01 file. Users are advised that this movement should be interpreted with care.
STANDARD TABLES AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE
Table 1: Number and total income for employing and non-employing small businesses by statistical division, 1995-96 to 2000-01.
Table 3: Number of small businesses, total income, total expenses and profit by industry division by statistical division, 1995-96 to 2000-01.
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