Since Friday 12 February and over the weekend, businesses have sought clarity from the Colac Chamber on matters ranging from whether they can trade; to what government support is available to help compensate for the significant losses felt across the region.
The matter of compensation is where the Colac Chamber of Commerce has concentrated our efforts, because the Business Support and Business Resilience Packages launched by the Victorian Government have all but ended, particularly for small businesses and sole traders.
There are no funds available for small businesses to apply for, with the Digital Adaptation and the Business Recovery and Resilience Mentoring being the only programs available.
We do not doubt the medical advice; the welfare of our Victorians is paramount, however we must also protect and support our local and broader economies. We’ve called for economic assistance for affected businesses, including support from our local Member of Parliament, Richard Riordan; the Small Business Ministerial Council; the Victorian Chamber of Commerce; the Minister for Small Business, Jaala Pulford; and the Premier directly, to provide avenues for financial support to our businesses.