My adjournment matter is directed to the Minister for Employment, Minister for Innovation, Medical Research and the Digital Economy, Minister for Small Business and Minister for Resources, the Honourable Jaala Pulford. This adjournment matter relates to the portfolio responsibilities of small business.
The Andrews Labor government is supporting more local business chambers and trader groups. Round 2 of the business chambers and trader groups program is now open. Grants of $20 000 are available for up to 30 groups across Victoria. Business groups can use the funds to support their local business communities to recover from the pandemic. With this funding they can also create locally led initiatives that can help build skills and resilience. Round 2 of this program aims to support initiatives between 1 January and 30 April 2022 that enable local business collaboration, educate, inform and empower small businesses, support small businesses to build digital capability and help members transition into recovery and restart.
Business chambers and trader groups can run face-to-face or virtual activities to engage local businesses. Applications for this program close on 26 November. The action I seek from the minister is to provide me with an update on how business chambers and trader groups of the Western Metropolitan Region can get access to this important support.
Jaala Pulford MP, Minister for Small Business ( 4 January 2022):
I thank the Member for her question.
We know that local business chambers and trader groups are key supporters of Victoria’s business communities and that is why we have continued to back them.
The Grants to Business Chambers and Trader Groups program commenced in September 2020 and the first round provided nearly $5 million in much needed funding to over 200 organisations. Grant recipients report that the program has helped avoid business closures and created local jobs.
A second round of the program was announced in October 2021. This round will support business chambers and trader groups to run locally led initiatives between 1 January and 30 April 2022 – enabling more local business collaboration, education, information, and support for small businesses to build digital capability and help members transition into recovery and restart.
Applications opened on 28 October 2021 and closed on 26 November 2021. During the application period, business chambers and trader groups across Victoria, including the Western Metropolitan Region, were encouraged to apply online at the Business Victoria website business.vic.gov.au.
All applications are now being assessed against the weighted criteria shown in the program guidelines and applicants will be notified in due course.
Further information on the Business Chambers and Trader Groups Program Round Two and the Victorian Government’s full suite of business recovery support services and programs can be found at business.vic.gov.au or by contacting the Business Victoria Hotline on 13 22 15.