WA SMEs hit after blockade grants excluded low-income earners


A recent commitment by the Western Australian (WA) government to provide payments for blockade assistance to small businesses has left the industry after discovering that those who sign up for the scheme are not really allowed to low-income small businesses. I was surprised.

A four-day rapid blockade of the state after three cases of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus were discovered last month caused $ 245 million to flow out of the state, one in ten small businesses in the region. Was forced to close forever.

Chamber of Commerce WA (CCIWA), the state’s premier trade association, Expressed A bittersweet welcome to the $ 3,000 SME Blocking Assistance Grant that helped lobby.

CCIWA said it was disappointed that WA’s smallest and most vulnerable companies, with annual revenues of less than $ 75,000 ($ 55,000), would not actually benefit from the program.

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London Court closed on June 29, 2021 in Perth, Australia. (Photo courtesy of Matt Jelonek / Getty Images)

Trade associations are also concerned that the only eligible businesses are those specially nominated by the state government and do not include a wide range of sectors, from start-ups and sole traders to massage clinics and medical professionals. It was.

In addition, CCIWA said the WA government did not outline these terms when the scheme was first announced.

“These criteria weren’t made clear to the business community before the application was opened,” CCIWA said. “It is not clear that we need to exclude these types of businesses.”

by WAtodayThe state had already experienced an estimated $ 500 million loss in the hospitality industry alone after a five-day blockade in January after discovering one locally acquired case of COVID-19.

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On June 29, 2021, you will see an empty seating area outside the store in the central business district of Perth, Australia. (Photo courtesy of Matt Jelonek / Getty Images)

Small business Minister Lease Whitby told reporters that a $ 75,000 threshold was needed to avoid overuse of taxpayer funds. The program itself has already sucked $ 41.5 million ($ 30.4 million) from the state budget.

“That’s a shame,” Whitby said (audio). “I want to be able to support all small businesses, but we are dealing with taxpayer money. There is no bottomless money hole.”

Whitby said the best thing the government can do for small businesses is a faster and shorter blockade compared to the current catastrophic blockade in New South Wales (NSW). Said to ensure.

The NSW blockade is approaching the one-month mark after postponing the start of the shutdown shutdown, resulting in hundreds of highly infectious Delta variants, killing a total of five people.

“In New South Wales, we have weekly, weekly holidays. That’s a disaster,” Whitby said.

“The best we can do for small businesses is to ensure the short and sharp blockages that are there in the least amount of time, and we can open the doors of the businesses as soon as possible. “