Many small businesses and sole traders have raised concerns with local Labor MPs that they are not receiving any or sufficient government support, yet are already being seriously impacted by COVID 19.

The Labor MPs also took the opportunity to remind the community to share their spend and think of small businesses when they are looking to shop and spend.

Local Labor MPs have had calls from local businesses who have seen work evaporate almost overnight.  While necessary, the cancellation of events such as functions, weddings, holidays social gatherings and ANZAC Day has had a huge impact on local business.

Small business owners and sole traders are proud and hardworking people and they are extremely worried about what the immediate future holds and how they are going to survive.

Otherwise viable small businesses that are struggling or have ceased trading have raised concerns the original small business economic stimulus package is not enough to keep them going let alone filter through to their employees.

Sole traders are exasperated that not one single cent of support from the government’s stimulus package will go directly to them.

Labor has been supportive of the Government’s original stimulus package but it has become clear that it is not sufficient and we are concerned about the lack of direct support for sole traders in the original stimulus package.

While we do have some concerns with the package, we are prepared to work with the Government to resolve these issues to help sole traders receive the support they need – to keep a roof over their heads, keep staff, and pay rent.

A welcome, although belated, step from Treasury is the establishment of a Business Liaison Unit to provide information and advice to businesses.

Labor’s priority will always be to protect jobs, help Australian workers, businesses, families and communities through this difficult time, and ensure vulnerable Australians are supported.

The need for immediate and meaningful assistance for small businesses and sole traders is vital.