Pressure from The Nationals has forced the Andrews Labor Government to back down on its decision to exclude entire sectors of small business from COVID-19 support.
This Fund promised $10,000 grants to Victorian small businesses below the payroll tax threshold which suffered severe financial damage due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Leader of The Nationals and Member for Murray Plains Peter Walsh is encouraging businesses who were told they could not access support because their industry was not eligible to apply for assistance.
“The Andrews Government was finding technicalities to exclude businesses that were initially given the impression they would qualify,” Mr Walsh said.
“Last week thousands of small business owners impacted by COVID-19 discovered that they were not eligible to apply for the fund, with certain industry sectors excluded from applying for financial assistance.”
Mr Walsh said he had been contacted by local small business owners who were excluded from applying to the fund, despite having suffered significant financial loss.
“The Fund promised to provide assistance to relieve the severe financial damage inflicted by the COVID-19 pandemic, but when many small businesses applied, they discovered they were only eligible if their business had been forced to close, while certain industry sectors were not eligible,” Mr Walsh said.
“Labor’s decision to exclude whole industry sectors from applying to the fund was blatantly unfair.
“On Friday, after pressure from The Nationals, the Government announced it would expand eligibility to all industry sectors – not just a secret few.
“Small businesses right across Victoria have been hard hit by the response to COVID-19 and deserve support.”
For more information on the Business Support Fund or to apply visit: https://www.business.vic.gov.au/support-for-your-business/grants-and-assistance/business-support-fund