The Andrews Labor Government’s business concierge service, touted as the answer to help those that are ‘slipping through the cracks’ in relation to receiving financial support, is a sham.
Gippsland East Nationals MP, Tim Bull, said the service was touted as supporting sole or micro traders, is just confirming they are ineligible.
“Adding salt to the wound, the long-awaited Small Business Hardship Fund announced late last week, also does not capture businesses in need.
“Many have found the ‘concierge service’ simply confirms they do not meet criteria, and in some cases have offered mindfulness courses instead of the financial support they need.
“These cash strapped businesses need money, not a meditation class,” said Mr Bull.
“There needs to be a genuine commitment to helping those that have continually suffered losses from the lockdowns and restrictions.
“Those businesses whose revenue has plummeted due to lockdowns, must qualify for supports, not excluded. Simplify it and remove the overarching criteria about whether your ANZSIC code is on the list.
“The reality is there are large groups, like hairdressers to name one, that have suffered major losses but do not qualify.
Note: Historical image taken when masks were not mandated indoors.
“The Minister stands up and quotes dollars in packages, but it is useless if those that need it are ruled out.
“What he needs to do is stand up and say he will commit to compensating all businesses that have been short changed by the COVID lockdowns.”
Mr Bull said a further issue was that of those who do qualify, the compensation is not enough to meet their overheads.
Sunday, 15 August 2021