My question is for the Minister for Small Business and it relates to businesses struggling to meet the criteria for business support.
Many businesses in my electorate had their summer trade in January 2020 slaughtered by the bushfires and ongoing smoke. Roll on to March, and those businesses had their incomes decimated by COVID-19 restrictions. Many businesses were ineligible for early support because they are sole-traders. Now, other businesses are ineligible because they don’t meet the Workcover threshold or they are retailers that don’t qualify. These businesses are heavily reliant on tourist trade, many of them were lucky to have two weeks trading in February 2020 and have had little since. They don’t meet the requirements because of these combined effects and say they will be lucky to survive through the next winter.
Minister, will you review the application process for the Business Costs Assistance Program to help businesses qualify for a lifeline of support?