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Russel Northe MLA:
Northe Continues Call for Sole-Trader Support

Wanted: support for local businesses currently excluded from the Victorian Business Support Fund.

By Portal Admin - 15th September 2020 - Back to News

In State Parliament last week, Member for Morwell Russell Northe called upon the Minister responsible for Jobs and Business support during the COVID-19 pandemic, to do more to support our local businesses currently excluded from the Victorian Business Support Fund.

"Ive called upon Minister Pakula to urgently review the requirements that prevent hard working small business owners from accessing State Government supports", Mr Northe began. "Some enterprises are ineligible from accessing these vital payments essentially on a technicality which is grossly unfair".

"Whilst I commend the Government for initially extending their business support, its important to get these initiatives right, particularly given many of these same businesses will not be able to reopen their enterprise until at least the 23rd November under the Governments Regional Roadmap. The impact of these and other measures have devastated the business community" said Mr Northe.

The Andrews Governments Business Support Fund Expansion provides one-off $5,000 grants to eligible enterprises, as they continue to face constraints on trade and operations due to COVID-19 restrictions imposed.

"Many local business owners who operate as Sole Traders and in Partnership arrangements have written or contacted me to express their dismay at their exclusion from the Business Support Fund, despite the fact they pay taxes, rates and fees" Mr Northe said.

"The stories Im hearing from locally owned businesses who cannot access the extended program available to businesses are, quite simply put heartbreaking", Mr Northe continued.

"They are really hurting, and the payments designed to support them through this pain are just not there when they need them".

"Thats why Ive called upon the State Government to ensure their Business Support Fund extension reaches all our businesses in need, to get through this crisis", Mr Northe explained.

"But from my perspective, its not just about jobs the possible closure of any business has far-reaching ramifications for individuals and families that will be experienced for years to come".

"I strongly urge Minister Pakula to urgently review the current requirements under the Business Support Fund Expansion program and ensure that our sole traders and partnerships are immediately included as eligible for assistance, under this vital program" Mr Northe concluded.


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