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Labor’s one-off grant not enough to save businesses as restrictions hit hard

The latest offering of support for Victorian businesses from the Andrews Labor Government falls woefully short of what is needed to get them through the second round of lockdowns. State Liberal Member for Eildon Cindy McLeish is disappointed by the lack of substantial support offered to small and medium sized businesses.

Ms McLeish said, “A one-off $5,000 grant won’t go far enough to ensure owners can survive six weeks of reimposed Stage 3 restrictions.”

Many local small businesses such as restaurants, cafes, beauty therapy and gyms have been affected by the second round of Stage 3 restrictions and may not qualify at all for the one-off grant – considering they need to have employees, be registered for WorkCover and already be on JobKepper.

Thousands of businesses in the Yarra Valley and Regional Victoria are facing extreme hardships.

Ms McLeish continues, “Business owners have already done all they can to survive this long. The one-off grant isn’t enough to aid medium sized businesses who have been left to the wayside by the State Labor Government.”

“I recently visited the Yarra Valley Chocolaterie with Shadow Treasurer Louise Staley MP and saw the struggles first hand. The Chocolaterie is a major tourist attraction and hospitality business in the area who have been hit hard by the pandemic.”

“It is a constant battle to keep people employed, continue maintenance and afford everyday business costs when the State Government won’t provide substantial financial support,” Ms McLeish concludes.

The Andrews Labor Government has deferred payroll tax payments for another six months, rather than what the Liberal Nationals have called for, which is to exempt the first $10 million of payroll entirely.

Ms Staley said, “The clear action for the State Government to take is offer payroll tax relief. It is insufficient to defer because in the end businesses are going to have to pay it, yet they’ll never get back these six weeks of trading.”

“Victoria deserves a government that’s genuinely committed to supporting business and getting the economy going again as soon as it is safe,” Ms Staley concludes.

The Coalition has put forward a number of options for the State Government to consider to help keep businesses stay in business. The Premier has failed to implement any.


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