Urgent call for survival top-up grants for Victoria’s small businesses

- October 26, 2020 2 MIN READ
  • Survival top-up support needed, and must include sole traders with premises costs.
  • Small businesses have already been struggling to absorb the huge loss of income, while paying commercial leases or trying to hold on to mortgaged premises as the lockdown has dragged on.

  • The government needs to stand side by side with small businesses in Victoria.

Small business advocates are calling for the government to provide survival top-up grants to businesses and sole traders who are struggling to pay outgoings on their premises.

Shifting goalposts causing business pain

The Australian Lottery and Newsagency Association (ALNA), the peak body for newsagents across Australia, suggested the constantly shifting goalposts of Melbourne’s lockdown is causing costs to mount for small businesses owners.

Ben Kearney, CEO ALNA said businesses need to be able to plan for reopening and every time proposed dates for lifting restrictions change, businesses bear the brunt of the costs.

Survival top-up funds needed

“We know the Victorian government has been working hard to bring cases down to an incredibly low level, and small businesses have been joining them in those incredible efforts and absorbing a huge blow in the process. But if businesses cannot plan, cannot trust what is said, then they must be given an emergency survival top-up grant so they can survive and work towards recovery. There is a great expense involved in keeping a business alive for even a day, from commercial leases or mortgage payments for premises, through to staff, stock, utilities, software, and more,” said Kearney.

“Yesterday’s indecision on re-opening further rubs salt in this wound and damages the already shattered confidence of our member businesses…The ALNA are calling for additional immediate support for small businesses, as previous support mechanisms are now no longer enough, and were certainly not adequate enough for sole traders with premises commitments.”

Kearney said it is time the Victorian government steps up for small business.

The Victorian government needs to step up and do more, to not only open up the community but to keep businesses alive while they wait, they need to stand side by side with small businesses in Victoria during this extended crisis.” concluded Kearney.

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