Small businesses could potentially see an average 4.7 per cent increase in revenue each year if they upped their technology spend, a report has found.
Analysis from Alphabeta released Friday shows businesses in the lower quartile of technology spending saw at most a 1.4 per cent revenue growth.
The report, commissioned by NBN Co, said businesses with the highest internet spending grew revenue by six per cent.
Director Andrew Charlton said there was a direct correlation between internet spending and growth, including jobs growth.
But the report’s also shown the digitial divide, with revenue for businesses in regions that have had the NBN for at least 18 months growing two-thirds more than businesses where the network was yet to be rolled out.
Small businesses account for 98 per cent of all Australian businesses and about half of all jobs in the country.
In 2019, 99 per cent of small businesses were connected to broadband internet.
The report warned the divide between small and large businesses was closing too slowly, with small businesses far less likely to use technology to boost productivity like stock control or payroll.
It says with the right support from industry and government, small businesses could see productivity and competition growth.
Eighty-six per cent of small businesses told researchers high-speed internet was important to them, with the average small business spending around $5000 per year on technology.
It also found the average internet speed had increased five-fold since 2009, with the average small businesses accessing internet speeds of 30 to 50 megabytes per second, compared to five to 12 a decade ago.
Communications Minister Paul Fletcher said a higher take up of digital technologies deliver more revenue and employment.
“This reinforces the importance of connectivity in a strong, stable economy,” he said.