Business looks for summer support in budget

Troy and Kelsie Prowse with their children Max and Milla at The Apple Farm orchard in Mount Gambier. Picture Supplied.

Together with her husband Troy, she runs The Apple Farm business, growing the fruit while running a cafe and function centre.

“COVID-19 has had a massive impact on our business, which closed a week before the national shutdown in March due to a patron at the venue testing positive for the virus.

“It was the last wedding for the season, so we were lucky, but for weeks I just didn’t know what to do.

“But then around Easter, we had the best apple season in six years.”

Ms Prowse invited locals to come with their families and pick the fruit in half-hour blocks.

“We had groups booked out for 14 days straight. Seeing that helped reinforce the beauty and significance of what we had built. It gave me the boost I needed.

While JobKeeper has helped support Kelsie, Troy had to increase hours at another job to sustain themselves.

“We are now booked out for the next six months. It is wonderful to be busy again.

“The real need now is for businesses to be supported through the busy summer season,” she said.

The Apple Farm, a 2 hectare property of grapevines and 1000 apple trees 6kms south of Mount Gambier, is just one of 1000 small and medium enterprises surveyed by business services software provider MYOB on expectations ahead of the Federal Budget next month.

The MYOB Business Monitor found the budget is likely to deliver mixed results for businesses, with half of SMEs confident of measures that would benefit them.

Explore the main crater of Mount Schank near Mount Gambier, as seen from a drone used to create the UniSA Project LIVE virtual tours.

However, confidence differed greatly by business size. Seventy-five per cent of businesses employing 100 people or more felt confident the budget will deliver benefits to them. This number fell to 39 per cent for businesses employing between 1-4 people and 28 per cent for sole traders.

“While bigger businesses have benefited from increased productivity through flexible working or faster adoption of online services and e-commerce by customers, 66 per cent of sole traders and 49 per cent of micro businesses saw no benefit afforded by the pandemic, MYOB chief executive Greg Ellis said.

“This demonstrates many smaller businesses lack optimism about the future and should be a critical focus within the upcoming Federal Budget,” said Mr Ellis.

The SME wishlist for the budget includes lowering of the company tax rate, removal of red tape, more support for training and apprentices and subsidies for businesses employing young jobless Australians, among others.

Angelina Burt

A late bloomer but an early learner, Angelina likes to be honestly biased. Though fascinated by the far-flung corners of the galaxy, She doesn’t fancy the idea of humans moving to Mars. Angelina is a Contributing Author for NME. e-mail:

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