A win for small business after Labor forced to backflip

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.

Businesses knocked back by the government for the Business Support Fund’s $10,000 grants because of their industry sector will now be reconsidered.

The Nationals Member for Eastern Victoria Region, Melina Bath is encouraging businesses who were told they could not access support because their industry was not eligible, to re-apply for assistance.

“The Andrews Government was finding technicalities to exclude businesses who were initially given the impression by the state government they would qualify,” Ms Bath said.

“Last week thousands of small business owners impacted by COVID-19 discovered that they were not eligible to apply for the fund, while some industry sectors were completely excluded from applying for financial assistance.”

Ms Bath said she had been contacted by small business owners who were deemed ineligible, despite having suffered significant financial loss.

“The fund promised $10,000 grants to Victorian small businesses below the payroll tax threshold which have suffered severe financial damage due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“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 altogether.

“Labor’s decision to exclude whole industry sectors from applying to the fund was blatantly unfair and unjust.

“On Friday, after pressure from The Nationals, the state 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

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