The number of small and medium businesses who support marriage equality has increased year to year, rising from 55 percent in 2015 to 63 percent in 2016.

For the past two years in the September quarter, Sensis has asked one thousand SMBs about their business’ views on marriage equality as part of the Sensis Business Index survey.

The greatest support comes from the Finance and Insurance sector (78%), followed by Communication, Property and Business Services (71%) and the Hospitality and Health and Community Services sectors (both 69%).

Of the business leaders surveyed in the 2016 survey, the results were even stronger when asked about their own views with more than two thirds (67%) saying they personally supported marriage equality.

Sensis CEO John Allan said: “Much has been spoken about large corporates and organisations supporting marriage equality, the evidence is now in that small and medium businesses – the back bone of the Australian economy – also support this initiative.” 

“Further, in asking SMBs if the passage of marriage equality laws by Federal Parliament would have an impact on their business – a resounding 87 percent said they thought it would have either a positive change or no impact at all. Only two percent said it would have a negative impact,” he said.

“Diversity is critically important to the prosperity of our nation and distracting issues such as marriage equality only serves to draw people away from what they believe is truly important, building a future for themselves, their employees and their families.”

More than six in ten (61%) small and medium businesses believe they have a diverse workforce, led by the Health and Community Services (83%), Hospitality (73%) and Manufacturing (67%) sectors, according to the latest Sensis Business Index survey¹.

Conducted as an exclusive survey within the report, the questions sought to understand the make up of small and medium businesses across Australia, exploring diversity, English spoken as a first language and multiculturalism.

The report found that while the majority (96%) of business owners or managers spoke English as a first language, nearly six in ten (59%) said they had a multicultural workforce. This was most evident in the Health and Community Services sector (79%) followed by the Hospitality (70%) and Communication, Property and Business Services (68%) sectors.

Of those respondents who are female, 65 percent said their workforce is diverse and 65 percent said it is multicultural, whereas of those respondents who are male, 60 percent said their workforce is diverse, and 56 percent said it is multicultural.

Sensis CEO John Allan said the insights painted a positive picture of business in Australia, with the workforce mirroring the Australian community as a whole.

“It is accepted that a business is strengthened by the contribution made from a workforce that harnesses the unique talents, skills, perspectives and experiences of all its people regardless of age, gender, sexuality, physical ability, ethnicity or Indigenous background,” he said.  

¹-, released on 18 January 2017. The Sensis Business Index is Australia’s longest continually running national quarterly report measuring small and medium business confidence.  Established in 1993 it reports on SMBs’ confidence in their business prospects, their perceptions on the economy and their views on whether their state government and Federal Government policies are supportive of SMBs. Each quarter we ask additional questions to ascertain their views on topical issues.


Small and Medium Business views on the question: Do you believe your business would support marriage equality?