Concern about eligibility for COVID-19 Small Business Support Grant
I’ve repeatedly raised concerns about the eligibility requirements for the $10,000 Small Business COVID-19 Support Grant and the fact it doesn’t take into consideration the impacts of drought.
Barwon businesses have been suffering a decline in turnover over the course of a number of years. For some areas, the last normal year of trade was in 2016. The argument I have put to the Treasurer is that while our businesses many not meet the decline eligibility criteria explicitly due to coronavirus; they would have met the criteria over the course of the past several years. Cer.
The guidelines state to be eligible businesses must show a decline in turnover of 75% or more compared to the equivalent period in 2019. The drought was already biting hard then!
I’ve recently been assured by members of the Government that the impacts of drought can be taken in to consideration under the following eligibility clause:
5.3 Where a small businesses or non-profit organisation was not in operation a year earlier, or where their turnover a year earlier was not representative of their usual or average turnover, the administrating agency will have discretion to consider additional information that the small business or non-profit organisation can provide to establish that they have been significantly affected by the impacts of the COVID-19.
Given this I'm encouraging all Small Businesses to apply, even if you don't meet the 75% reduction criteria. If you run into issues (including being knocked back) get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org and my team and I will take up your case.