Small businesses welcome bushfire relief

20 Jan 2020 |

The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry welcomes the financial reprieve for bushfire-affected small businesses following the announcement of significant small business support by the Morrison Government today.

ACCI expressed its grave concern for the future of small, regional businesses affected by the fires at a roundtable with the Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg, Minister for Small Business Michaelia Cash and Assistant Minister Ben Morton last week.

“We shared with the Government the devastating results natural disasters have on small businesses,” ACCI CEO James Pearson said.

“Local, family-owned businesses are the lifeblood of regional communities, but figures from the US show between 40-60 per cent of small businesses shut up shop following a disaster – that figure skyrockets to 90 per cent if businesses can’t start trading again within days.

“Small business is a big deal. The announcement today is significant in that it targets both short-term and longer-term needs and reflects an appreciation of the role of business in the fabric of the local community.

“Cash is king but right now many small businesses don’t have any – they can’t pay wages, bills or purchase new stock. The immediate financial relief must be rolled out quickly and it must be made easier to access.  Specifically, businesses in this crisis should not be weighed down by unnecessary paperwork.

“Looking further ahead, we are pleased the Government has taken up our suggestion of concessional loans for small businesses for up to $500,000 over 10 years. This will help with the long term viability of businesses past the recovery and rebuilding stages and contribute to ‘building back better’.

“ACCI will also continue to encourage the Federal Government to put local businesses at the heart of a community-led recovery, with the aim of keeping the commercial prospects of businesses alive and locals employed.”

ACCI welcomes the relief measures relating to PAYG and BAS being put in place by the Australian Taxation Office which complement the other financial measures in reducing pressures on the cash flow of businesses over the next few critical months.

“All three levels of government must work together and with locals to ensure funds are spent on physical infrastructure where they can do the most good for the community. It is encouraging to see this package aiming to achieve this outcome,” Mr Pearson said.

“It is important that over the coming months that the government monitor the effectiveness of the package on supporting a business-led recovery, and if necessary respond with further assistance to secure the rebuilding of communities.”

Marie Hogg

Senior Adviser - Media

P  |  0431 299 518

E  |  [email protected]

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