State Governments COVID-19 stimulus package leaves small business short
As the unprecedented and challenging COVID-19 virus rages throughout the world, Australia is now closing down quickly in an effort to stem the spread of this terrible virus, leaving many small businesses and their employees without customers, incomes, jobs or the ability to survive.
“Regional sole traders and small businesses which fall under the payroll tax threshold, many already in fragile positions, have been left out in the cold to fend for themselves with no ‘real’ or effective short term support to help prevent the collapse of their businesses, livelihoods or jobs.” said Vince Catania, Member for North West Central.
The Government’s hollow $607 million stimulus package seems to be nothing more than ‘smoke and mirrors’. How can a future freeze, on existing fees and charges, which have been increasing over the past 3 years to already unmanageable levels for many, be seen as a significant stimulus?” said Vince.
“A freeze on already high fees and charges is of no use to cash strapped businesses where trade and income will continue to decline rapidly as the COVID-19 virus bites hard.”
“The State Government needs an immediate short term ‘real’ package for small regional businesses that sit under the payroll tax threshold and have ‘slipped through the net’, to include the provision of free electricity, gas, water and licensing fees, for the next 6-12 months.”
“Extreme circumstances now face the World and the Government needs to take very bold steps and implement a STOP on the need to pay electricity, water and gas bills, and suspend the billing process.”
“Not only will this provide breathing space for many, but will allow the retention of employees, protect people’s health and well-being and ensure regional communities underpinning the States prosperity and basic needs remain intact”.
As The Nationals WA small business and tourism spokesperson, Vince said “these small businesses across regions urgently need real and meaningful survival packages designed to keep them alive and people employed in our State, reducing a potential future burden on the social security system.”
“It’s crucial the State Government understands the already precarious position of many small regional businesses to try and prevent collapses which will have a catastrophic domino effect on the economy and the Government if doors close, jobs are lost, bills, rents and mortgages are not paid and leases are terminated”.
“I am also calling on the Federal Government to come on board to work with the banks to push for businesses to be afforded a short term ‘holiday’ from paying mortgages, lease payments and insurance premiums to assist with cash flow and their ability to ‘just keep the doors open” until the tide turns and the economy begins to recover.”
With agriculture and regional tourism being pivotal industries, serious consideration by the Federal Government to offer a 2 year extensions for visa holders already in Australia to guarantee production and services are maintained is also essential” said Vince.
“In the face of a dire situation with high levels of financial stress already in existence and a further downturn in spending and tourism numbers looming for a period of time, the Governments need to nurse businesses along and act now on many fronts to avoid a potential situation not seen since the World Wars.”
“I call on the Governments to be fast and take courageous steps and implement urgent and aggressive strategies to preserve businesses, jobs and morale” said Vince.
For media enquires please contact Vince Catania on 99412 999.