Member for Northern Metropolitan and Leader of the Reason Party, Fiona Patten MP, has again called on the Victorian government to make funds immediately available to thousands of small businesses who are on the brink of closing their doors.
“In parliament last week, I called on the Small Business Minister Jaala Pulford and Minister for the Coordination of Jobs, COVID-19 Industry Support and Recovery, Mr Pakula, to extend the Business Support Fund, until at least the end of the year.
The fund, due to expire on September 14, gives a $10,000 cash injection to businesses to keep them open during these heavy lockdown restrictions. This fund should be doubled to $20,000 and applicants who have already received support, should be allowed to reapply.”
Ms Patten has spoken with businesses from a wide variety of industries and noted their frustration at the government’s cautious approach to recovery.
“I know that there are many in the business community who are suffering right now and that the slow approach to the opening up of the Victorian economy, is not what many sectors wanted to hear. But we must tackle the health crisis to the ground before we can tackle the economic one.
“The alternative, where business opens up too quickly, only to be forced back into extended, sporadic periods of lockdowns, would be even worse.
“I believe we can get to a state of ‘covid-normal’ quicker than the Premier does and I will be urging him and his cabinet colleagues to review their plans if the circumstances improve.
“Urgent and generous business grants must come into effect right now and the application process must be streamlined to quicken the payments.
“I back a plan where we can defeat Covid-19, but not an approach that strangles businesses at the same time.”
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