Impact of COVID-19 on Small Businesses in Victoria | Adjournment

Ms VAGHELA (Western Metropolitan): My adjournment matter is directed to the Minister for Local Government and Minister for Small Business, the Honourable Adem Somyurek MP.

COVID-19 continues to spread rapidly around the world. Almost every country has reported cases, but the burden is asymmetrically distributed.

With small businesses being the hardest hit by this pandemic, many business owners are reeling during this uncertain time.

The overwhelming majority of business owners are concerned about the profitability of their business over the imminent and long-term future.

The Andrews Labor government has announced a range of initiatives that will provide the much-required support to the businesses in need.

The Victorian government is pumping billions of dollars into the economy to help Victorian businesses and workers survive the devastating impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.

As part of the package, the Government is providing full payroll tax refunds for the 2019–20 financial year to small and medium-sized businesses with payroll of less than $3 million—giving $550 million back to businesses who need it.

The businesses are also able to defer any payroll tax for the first three months of the 2020–21 financial year until 1 January 2021, freeing up a further $83 million in cash flow.

The Andrews Labor Government is also providing $500 million to establish a Business Support Fund. The fund will support the hardest hit sectors, including hospitality, tourism, accommodation, arts and entertainment, and retail.

Small businesses that have been highly impacted by shutdown restrictions are also eligible to apply for a one-off $10 000 grant from the Victorian government’s Business Support Fund.

My area of Western Metropolitan Region is home to a lot of small businesses.

The action I seek from the minister is to visit some businesses in my area of Western Metropolitan Region once the COVID-19 restrictions are lifted to find out how these measures announced for the small businesses have been helpful for them.