Gippsland hospitability business are under mounting financial pressure as the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic starts to bite.
Today in State Parliament, The Nationals Member for Eastern Victoria Region, Melina Bath sought answers from Daniel Andrews on what immediate support his State Government will implement to assist struggling Gippsland businesses.
The Nationals Member for Eastern Victoria Region Melina Bath said with mass gatherings banned under the declared State of Emergency, thriving function and hospitality businesses have seen their operations come to a grinding halt.
“With the high level of uncertainty, functions are not just being postponed – they are being cancelled all together,” said Ms Bath.
“Businesses have no ability to generate any income, yet their fixed costs continue to mount.
“Business owners have contacted me saying that they will be lucky to survive the next two weeks if the state government does not step in.
“Understandably local business owners are incredibly stressed about their future and that of their employees.
“It would be a tragedy to see established and iconic regional businesses shut their doors, with owners forced to walk away as their debts rapidly mount.”
Other State Governments across Australia have recognised the problem, introducing small business stimulus packages in response to COVID-19, yet the Andrews Labor Government has not implemented any measures in Victoria.
Ms Bath said both the NSW and Western Australian State Government have rolled out immediate stimulus packages to help struggling small businesses overnight.
“Yet Victoria’s poor financial position is impacting Labor’s ability to respond to the COVID-19 emergency,” said Ms Bath
“Daniel Andrews has wasted billions, with his Treasurer recently announcing the Labor Government will be imposing $4 billion worth of cuts.”
During Question Time in State Parliament today, Labor’s Minister for Small Business spruiked business continuity through the development of recovery plans.
Ms Bath said discussion around recovery is incredibly premature when Gippsland businesses are at immediate risk of closure.
“I am calling on Daniel Andrews to outline the Victorian Government’s immediate support measures to small businesses during the COVID-19 crisis.”