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January 2024 E News

Happy New Year!  As we welcome 2024, we reflect on the meaningful connections and collaborative efforts we have shared. We are thankful for the trust you place in us. May this year bring forth prosperity, growth, and new opportunities. Wishing you a year filled with joy, achievement, and continued partnership. Cheers to a fantastic year ahead.

In this month's market update, there is a reflection on 2023, from an investment perspective, and hope that 2024 mirrors its positives. January kicked off with a bang, riding on positive economic data and low-interest rates, spurring investor sentiment. However, February-March saw US banks/Credit Suisse collapse due to rising interest rates and tightened financial conditions. Yet, central banks came to the rescue by injecting liquidity. The "Magnificent 7" emerged in April-July, driven by AI advancements like ChatGPT. August-October witnessed a sell-off in interest-sensitive assets amidst higher rates and Middle East conflicts. In November-December, inflation seemed beaten, sparking market optimism. Looking ahead, challenges remain: Will global economies experience a soft landing? Will reserve banks meet market expectations with interest rate cuts? And, how will company earnings fare amidst it all? Here's to navigating 2024's uncertainties together!

The MVP Ventures Program is tailored to support startups and innovative SMEs, bridging the gap in the product lifecycle from early-stage research to mature investment opportunities by offering grants aimed at driving the commercialisation of groundbreaking products or processes. This initiative specifically targets NSW companies, providing funding ranging from $25,000 to $50,000, with the application deadline set for Tuesday, 30th April 2024, just 90 days away.

Discover the Free Cash Flow resources developed collaboratively by the ATO and the Department of Industry, Science and Resources, aimed at aiding your business in establishing sustainable practices and meeting financial obligations effectively. These resources provide actionable, step-by-step guidance covering crucial elements such as cash flow success factors, financial commitment planning, and performance monitoring. Cultivating sound cash flow management habits is paramount for fostering the growth and prosperity of your business.

There is a free webinar on Wednesday, 7th February, from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM, designed to kickstart your business journey. This session covers essential aspects including business registration, legal and council requirements, insurance, market research, and business planning. Whether you're in the initial stages of business or seeking to ensure comprehensive coverage, this webinar offers valuable insights.

The Northern Rivers holds regular Community Events.  See what's on and keep up to date on all the fantastic opportunities available and help to support local.  There is plenty to do.

A reminder, there are some important lodgement dates to note this month.

The WD Nicholls Team

Happy New Year to you and all the best for 2024.  From an investment point of view we are wishing 2024 is similar to 2023!  Let's recap on the wild volatility of 2023:

January – the year started with a bang as positive economic data continued from the Christmas period buoyed by the previous elongated period of very low interest rates and significant government stimulus. This saw investor sentiment rise sharply as the good times rolled on.

February-March – US banks / Credit Suisse collapse – the significant increase in interest rates and reasonable reduction in the size of central bank balance sheets, saw financial conditions tighten considerably which then spilled over into a squeeze on liquidity.

March-April – central banks came to the rescue (liquidity) – following concerns of a wider spread of contagion on the global banking system, central banks provided the comfort investors were looking for by standing firm in their ability to backstop the banking system (injection of liquidity, in the case of the US) as they stood ready and waiting to provide whatever support was necessary.

April-July –the “Magnificent 7”, this “thing” called AI that had been festering in the background for more than a decade finally took off in markets following the release of ChatGPT in late 2022. The market very quickly assessed that there were “only” 7 stocks that would benefit from AI, and like with most things these days, a new catchphrase (“Magnificent 7”) was coined.

August-October – rates higher for longer, inflation path lower stalls, new conflict in the Middle East.  This resulted in a strong sell-off in interest-rate-sensitive growth assets (property and infrastructure), interest-rate-sensitive bonds (ie. fixed rate government and corporate bonds), and growth stocks trading on eye-watering multiples, as asset prices got re-priced very quickly.

November-December – Inflation beaten, Fed done raising rates – the beginning of November kicked off with a spurious US headline inflation print of 0% for October which investors took as a green light that inflation had finally been beaten and they might finally see some rate cut relief in 2024. This sent markets on a tear, reversing much of the poor performance in September and October, with property and infrastructure surging, along with government bonds, small companies, and growth stocks.

All of the above events have resulted in the following returns:

Looking forward there are still some challenges.  Do global economies have a “soft landing” (this is what is currently expected)?  Will reserve banks cut interest rates in the market enough (to satisfy markets)?  Lastly, how do company earnings hold up over this period? 

The MVP Ventures Program supports startups and innovative SMEs in the product lifecycle between early-stage research and mature investment opportunities, through grants to drive the commercialisation of highly innovative and new products or processes. Applications will be considered on a non-competitive basis against the eligibility and assessment criteria and will be assessed in the order in which they are received.

This program provides NSW companies with funding to commercialise innovative and new products or processes. Closes in 90 days.

Closing date: Tuesday 30 April 2024

What do you get?

Funding from $25,000 to $50,000.

Who is this for?

NSW companies.


Funding is available to help businesses progress their new products or processes along the Technology Readiness Level (TRL) scale and attract large-scale private investment.

Businesses that complete projects funded under the program are permitted to reapply for additional funding to make further progress along the TRL scale.

Check if you can apply

To be eligible, you must:

  • have an Australian business number (ABN) 

  • be non-tax exempt

  • be headquartered in NSW

  • hold intellectual property (IP) or rights to commercialise your product

  • have an aggregated turnover of less than A$1 million for each of the 3 financial years prior to the lodgement of your application

  • be an entity with less than or equal to 20 FTE.

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Explore the Free Cash Flow resources developed by the ATO and the Department of Industry, Science and Resources, designed to assist you in establishing sustainable practices for your business and fulfilling financial obligations.

These resources offer practical, step-by-step guidance, encompassing key aspects such as;

  • cash flow success factors,

  • financial commitment planning,

  • performance tracking.

Cash Flow Coaching Kit

Coaching yourself and having conversations with others is an easy and flexible way to start making positive changes in your business. Use the coaching cards to guide you through the process and set yourself up for cash flow success.  They help you with a cash flow health check, understanding the cash flow success factors and solutions to keep you on track.

Whether you're just starting out or navigating various stages of your business lifecycle, these tools are invaluable. Cultivating effective cash flow management habits is essential for your business's growth and prosperity.

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Wednesday, 7 February 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

This FREE webinar will get you well on your way to starting your business. You will learn everything you need to know including:

  • Business registration

  • Legal requirements

  • Council requirements

  • Insurance

  • Market research

  • Business planning and more.

If you have just started your business it is a great opportunity to check you have covered the first stages of starting a business.

The key takeaways are:

  • Research - Is your Business likely to be viable

  • Register - Set up legally and protect your business

  • Establishment - Get ready to sell your product/service

About this webinar:

  • This webinar is aimed at small businesses throughout Western Sydney, and has a capacity to host up to 50 attendees

  • This webinar is for those intend to a new business, or just started a business

  • This webinar will take place on Zoom, click the link below to book. You will receive the Zoom link in the confirmation email

  • Attending and logging into the live zoom will come out of your allocated business connect hours.

  • This webinar will be recorded but only live attendees will receive the recording afterwards.

This session is provided through the Business Connect program. Business Connect is a dedicated and personalised NSW Government program that provides trusted advice to help you start, run, adapt, or grow your small business.

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We always like to support our locals!  Here are some community events happening this month (in date order).

Byron Bay Farmers Market next date is Thursday, 1 February 2024 | 7:00 AM to 11:00 AM

The Byron Bay Farmers Market was started in 2002 by a handful of local farmers who wanted to be able to sell their produce directly to the public, in the process reducing food miles and ensuring their small farms remained viable.

Over the past 20 years, Byron Farmers Market has grown from half a dozen stalls to over 70 stalls – all offering the freshest locally grown produce every Thursday morning at Butler Street Reserve in Byron Bay.

Farmers supply everything from seasonal fruit and vegetables, pasture-raised meat and eggs, artisan cheese and bread, seafood, pasta, rice, nuts, honey, flowers and more!

The market is held from 7:00 am to 11:00 am every Thursday.

Location:  Butler Street Reserve, Butler Street, Byron Bay.

Textile Mending Workshop next date is Friday, 2 February 2024 | 10:30 AM to 1:00 PM

Christina from The Art of Sewing Mullumbimby will demonstrate how to visibly mend your ripped or broken items using sashiko techniques.You can bring your own items to the workshop.

Book your place

Please register via email with your name and the number of people coming. 

Location:  Byron Resource Recovery Centre, 115 The Manse Road, Myocum

Byron Bay Community Market next date is Sunday, 4 February 2024 | 8:00 AM to 3:00 PM

The Byron Bay Community Market hosts an eclectic collection of market stalls that showcase what Byron has to offer.

The market is held from 8:00 am to 3:00 pm on the 1st Sunday of every month.

Road closures and traffic changes on market day

  • Jonson Street is closed to traffic at the corner of Byron and Marvel Streets from 5am to 5pm.

  • Traffic is diverted via Fletcher Street.

  • The Lawson Street South carpark is closed from 5am to 5pm.

  • There may be traffic delays are on Lawson Street between the Shirley Street and Jonson Street roundabouts between 6am to 8am and 3pm to 5.30pm.

  • The railway carpark is open under traffic control via the laneway on Jonson Street.

  • Traffic controllers will be in place on market day. 

Location: Byron Bay CBD, Railway Park, Jonson Street, Byron Bay

New Brighton Farmers Market next date is Tuesday, 6 February 2024 | 8:00 AM to 11:00 AM

New Brighton Farmers Market was established by the North Byron Farmers Market Association in 2007.

The aim was to create a local food economy; to give the local community access to farm fresh produce and to support local farmers and producers. The Association also wanted to create a meeting place in which to grow and strengthen community.

New Brighton Farmers Market has received overwhelming support from day one, with loyal customers returning consistently week after week. The market now hosts approximately 30 farmer and producer stalls each Tuesday.

The market is held from 8:00 am to 11:00 am every Tuesday.

Location: Tom Kendall Oval, Park Street, New Brighton

Info Session Flying-Fox Camp Management Plan next date is Wednesday, 7 February 2024 | 5:30 PM to 6:30 PM

Feedback is being sought on the Flying-fox Camp Management Plan 2024-2029. 

You are invited to join an information session where you will be presented with the plan for greater understanding.

To learn more and share your feedback, see the Your Say page on the Byron Shire website.

Feedback closes Thursday 22 February 2024.

Location: Council Chambers, 70 Station Street, Mullumbimby

Council planning meeting next date is Thursday, 8 February 2024 | 11:00 AM to 6:00 PM

Council meetings are held in the Chambers. 

Go to How to join the meeting for ways you can participate in the meeting. 

A livestream is available to watch online. 

Questions about the meeting?

Location: Council Chambers, 70 Station Street, Mullumbimby

Mullumbimby Community Market next date is Saturday, 17 February 2024 | 8:00 AM to 2:00 PM

The Mullumbimby Community Market is held on the third Saturday of each month from 8:00 am to 2:00 pm.

Location: Corner of Stuarts and Myocum Streets, Mullumbimby

Council ordinary meeting next date is Thursday, 22 February 2024 | 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM

Council meetings are held in the Chambers. 

Go to How to join the meeting for ways you can participate in the meeting. 

A livestream is available to watch online. 

Questions about the meeting?

Location: Council Chambers, 70 Station Street, Mullumbimby

If you want to know more about what is going on in your local community, click the link below.

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If you wish to arrange a telephone appointment or zoom meeting with one of our team please contact our office either by telephone or email.

Key lodgment and payment dates for business

21 February

Activity statements

  • January monthly activity statements – final date for lodgment and payment.

28 February

Activity statements

  • Quarter 2 (October–December) activity statements – final date for lodgment and payment, including electronic lodgment


  • Annual GST return or Annual GST information report – final date for lodgment and payment (if required) if you do not have an income tax return lodgment obligation.

PAYG instalments

  • Quarter 2 (October–December) instalment notices (forms R and T) – final date for payment, and lodgment if varying the instalment amount.

GST instalments

  • Quarter 2 (October–December) instalment notices (forms S and T) – final date for payment, and lodgment if varying the instalment amount.

Income tax

  • Lodgment and payment due date for self-preparing entities that were not due at an earlier date

  • if you don't lodge your previous financial year return on time, your income tax return for the current financial is due by 31 October.

  • Lodgment and payment due date for medium to large companies (taxable and non-taxable) that are new registrationsi

  • f you don't lodge your previous financial year return on time, your income tax return for the current financial year is due by 31 October.

  • Lodgment due date for medium to large trusts that were non-taxable in the latest year lodged unless required earlier

  • lodgment due date for income tax returns for new registrant trusts unless required earlier

  • if you don't lodge your previous financial year return on time, your income tax return for the current financial year is due by 31 October.


  • Lodge and pay quarter 2 (1 October–31 December) Superannuation guarantee charge statement – quarterly if you did not pay your contributions on time.

  • You can choose to offset contributions you've paid late to a fund for each employee against the super guarantee charge for the quarter for those employees.

  • You cannot claim an income tax deduction for the super guarantee charge.


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