COVID-19 has up-ended everything about how we live, work and interact and has us considering our hopes and plans for the future in a different way.
As Member for Eastern Metropolitan and the Leader of the Transport Matters Party Rod Barton MP, understands that businesses operating under this entity structure have fallen through the cracks in this pandemic. Mostly, the distinct lack of business support appears to be because these businesses do not always employ staff in the traditional sense of the word. Except for this fact, many run profitable, legitimate enterprises, are registered for GST and have overheads and outgoings just as any other operation.
After being contacted by numerous individuals in this predicament, as the upper house member, Rod Barton has received many representations from a number of different industries all conveying similar messages – that they have been overlooked. A valid and undeniable point for which it is not clear whether this has been deliberate or an oversight. Along with those businesses excluded by strict eligibility criteria for business boost programs, Rod Barton MP is seeking justification as to why the line of support has been drawn to dismiss so many small businesses.
There have been thousands of sole traders who have not turned a dollar since, March, yet whose overheads have not diminished and all the while trying to keep a roof over their head and food on the table for their families.
The member for Eastern Metropolitan was seeking a commitment from the Victorian Government to review support packages to also include non-employing sole trader businesses, which can verify genuine full-time activity and business turnover in the period prior to the pandemic.
The future of so many sole traders is uncertain, a situation shared across all businesses but difficult to accept when there are lifelines being thrown at some and not others. Particularly brutal is the second round of support offered to arrest the damage of restrictions yet so many others have been in freefall since March. They are also deserving contributors to our economy who require our support and consideration.
Funding for non-employing small businesses is desperately needed to ensure their survival beyond the pandemic.
Quotes attributable to Member for Eastern Metropolitan and the Leader of the Transport Matters Party Rod Barton MP:
“I am offering to work with the Victorian Government to address the shortcomings of the existing COVID support program to ensure that any expansion is measured, targeted and tailored to catch those businesses currently falling through the cracks.”
“As a former small business owner, I understand the challenges in providing targeted support to those sole traders in general, however this is about fairness to all of the business community.”