small business | May 04, 2020

Labor's forced backflip a win for small business

Pressure from The Nationals has forced the Andrews Labor Government to provide COVID-19 support to small business sectors it had previously deemed ineligible for funding.

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

Nationals Member for Lowan Emma Kealy is encouraging businesses who were told they could not access support because their industry was ineligible to apply for assistance.

“Last week thousands of small business owners impacted by COVID-19 discovered they were not eligible to apply for the fund, despite the government initially giving them the impression they would qualify for support,” she said.

“This meant many businesses that had suffered significant financial loss were being excluded from applying for financial assistance.

“The fund promised $10,000 grants to Victorian small businesses below the payroll tax threshold that had suffered severe financial damage due to 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 at all.”

On Friday, after pressure from The Nationals, the government announced it would expand eligibility to all industry sectors.

“Labor excluding whole industry sectors from applying to the Business Support Fund was blatantly unfair,” Ms Kealy said.

“Small businesses right across Victoria have been hard hit by the response to COVID-19 and deserve support.”

More information about the Business Support Fund is available at

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