Xero Small Business Insights and AlphaBeta have teamed up to quantify the impact of the NBN, the biggest infrastructure project in Australia’s history, on the nation’s largest employer: small businesses.
Using anonymised, aggregated data from tens of thousands of small businesses on Xero, strategic economics consultancy AlphaBeta and Xero compared business outcomes in two distinct regions: areas where NBN access was mature in 2016 and areas where the NBN had not yet arrived.
The analysis found that in 2017, small businesses in mature NBN regions grew employment by one-third more than businesses in non-NBN regions and increased revenue by almost two-thirds more.
Overall, the Digital Connectivity Report suggests small businesses and the economy are benefiting from increased access to high-speed broadband. Adding to this momentum are business apps that help automate traditionally manual tasks, from processing expenses to scheduling client appointments and rostering staff.
“Many people have been fearful the digital revolution will result in the loss of jobs,” Xero Australia managing director Trent Innes said.
“Instead, what our data suggests, is that it actually does the opposite. It’s enabling small business growth, and those that are leveraging digital the most are seeing significant benefits.”