Labor must release secret list of small business winners and losers

Small businesses across Victoria have been devastated by news the Andrews Labor Government has rejected their application to the Business Support Fund.

Labor trumpeted the Fund as being available to help small businesses hit by the COVID-19 pandemic that cannot benefit from payroll tax concessions. Daniel Andrews held out the prospect of a $10,000 grant to help struggling small businesses.

However, today many struggling small business operators across Victoria have been told that they do not qualify for assistance – simply because of the industry they operate in.

Unsuccessful applicants are told “your ABN registration indicates that your industry classification does not meet the Business Support Fund’s eligibility requirements”.

This means that many Victorian small businesses that have been hit hard by the current pandemic are being denied support simply because of their industry.

It is time for Daniel Andrews to support small businesses hit by the economic shock of Victoria’s COVID-19 lockdowns, not just a few favoured sectors.

Comments attributable to the Leader of the Opposition, Michael O’Brien:

“Labor has a secret list of which industries it is willing to support and which industries it is refusing to support. This secret list must be released immediately.

“Daniel Andrews doesn’t understand small business if he thinks that only a few sectors have been hit by this pandemic.

“There is small business carnage in suburbs and towns across Victoria. They should be treated equally but instead Daniel Andrews is creating lists of winners and losers.

“This secret list must be released so that Victorians can see exactly which sectors of small business Daniel Andrews believes are not worth supporting.

“The path out of this pandemic needs to be a jobs and business-led recovery but if small businesses are forced to close their doors there will be far fewer jobs for Victorians to return to.”

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