THE federal government’s Digital Business Plan will help to create key jobs and set Australia on a stronger course post-pandemic, ACC chief economist Ross Lambie said.

The government has announced $800m in funding in response to an apparent need for a plan to help Australian entrepreneurs pursue digital growth.

“COVID has accelerated the pace and scale of digitalisation of the economy – we have been thrust into a new era of digital growth years ahead of what would have normally been the case,” Dr Lambie said.

“This country needs a wave of digitally savvy Aussie SMEs to create high-tech jobs and kick start investment in emerging technologies.”

ACCI initial Business Conditions Survey, done at the outset of the COVID-19 restrictions, showed a third of businesses had quickly responded by expanding their online presence. 

The ABS Business Impacts of COVID survey found 20% of businesses that changed to online delivery expected to continue with the changes after COVID.

“We also need to let go of the past ways of doing things and embrace more efficient, less costly processes such as moving to e-invoicing, virtual meetings and executing documents electronically,” Dr Lambie said.

“There is a lack of awareness of the productivity and profitability gains that can be achieved through the adoption of digital technologies such as online sales, new payment technologies and social media.”