Small businesses wage war on rising costs

I am a small business owner and I know it will be hard with the interest going up, and cash flow will be an issue for my customers as well as suppliers (“Small business is on the brink but it’s barely on the radar”, April 23). But that is a classic story about having a small business. It is no different now than in the last 10 years or, in fact, for all the years I have been in the business. There is another factor of the exchange rate going down if you import goods, including higher costs of sea freight. Again you have to adjust your prices accordingly, but customers seem to understand. Unlike big businesses, small businesses always run on a shoestring budget and are innovative. Every cent is counted and that is the only trick for survival. There is no point in whinging about it. We keep our heads down, and tails up. – Mukul Desai, Hunters Hill

Parnell Palme McGuinness’ sympathy for small businesses may be justified in some cases. However, business profits in Australia overall have risen 157 per cent since March 2016, while wages have by 25 per cent; the rises for the December 2022 quarter are profits 10.6 per cent, wages 2.6 per cent (Australian Bureau of statistics data). It’s difficult to ascertain the precise figures for “small businesses”, due to definitional problems and differences among industries. Across the board, profits are massively outpacing wages, so perhaps some of the sympathy could be directed towards ordinary workers, instead of the employers required to accept multi-employer bargaining (ie, same pay for same job). And market capitalism is based on having winners and losers, with profit the reward for risk, so inevitably some businesses, small or large, have invested less than wisely and/or been unlucky. – Al Svirskis, Mount Druitt


I was astonished to read that three sets of parents (obviously very well-off) (“As rents spike, parents take matters into their own hands”, April 23) bought property for their offspring – two sets for the sum of over $3 million and one for $4 million. This is an incredible amount of money to help your children escape the rental crisis and I imagine that not many people would be in that bracket. I am sure many people would feel that once again it’s OK for the rich, but the majority of parents wishing to help their children could not even begin to raise that amount of capital. Indeed, we do “now have a system of home ownership based on inherited wealth”.

The inequality in Australians’ lifestyles is becoming more and more obvious each year. Something needs to be done to fix it so that so many Australians are not so severely disadvantaged. – Hilary Diack, Jannali

Good luck to those young people fortunate enough to have a “bank of mum and dad” to help them put a roof over their heads. Unfortunately, many, many more do not have that luxury. And so the gap between the haves and have-nots continues to widen in our “lucky country”. Are our politicians taking notice? – Kathleen Hollins, Northmead


Thomas, what’s wrong with quiche (“Unfit for a king: Sorry Charles, Coronation Quiche is gross”, April 23)? I happen to really like eating quiche. It’s cheap, cheerful and filling. And anyone can make it. It’s an everyman meal. – Pamela Shepherd Balgowlah


I’m surprised Jane Caro “discovered” the notion of love being in the will at this stage of life (“Love is an action”, April 23), and also that she associates it primarily with M. Scott Peck (whom I love). It was St Thomas Aquinas, the 13th century Dominican priest and theologian (aka “the angelic doctor”), who defined love as “the choice to will the good of the other”. Such a full expression of what love is, and one that we older women who are wives, mothers and grandmothers all have experience of. – Kerrie Wehbe, Blacktown


I can empathise with your correspondent (Letters, April) 23 about how Mother’s Day may not be for everyone. My wife and I hosted many enjoyable Mother’s Day get-togethers for family and extended family for years. Now I would rather stay under a doona each year. I lost four family mothers in seven years, in order – my mother-in-law, wife, mother and daughter. I try and not dwell too much on it, as it is all part of the human condition, but for now, I am not keen on celebrating Mother’s Day. – Seppo Ranki, Glenhaven

As someone whose mother always disparaged Mother’s Day, and at 93 still does, I can sympathise with your correspondent. However, I am blessed that my children go out of their way every year to make the Day special and enjoyable for me. I love it. – Meredith Williams, Northmead

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