News, media releases

A small win for small businesses

  • Labor advocacy results in win for small business
  • Independent panel essential to equitable process
  • Scrutiny needed to ensure same mistakes aren’t made again

Labor welcomes today’s announcement by the state government of a new round of support for small businesses struggling with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Shadow Small Business Minister Anita Dow said it’s a common sense move in response to Labor’s calls for the government to reopen its small business support program. 

“Labor has heard from many small business owners over the past few months who missed out on the initial flawed round of hardship grants, or received less funding then they originally applied for, with little or no explanation provided as to why.

“They’ve been frustrated by the government moving the goal posts halfway through the process, without letting them know the assessment criteria had changed. 

“Our call to reopen the program was supported the Small Business Council, and the Premier’s own Advisory Council has confirmed the importance of supporting struggling businesses in hard hit sectors.

“There are many small businesses that will continue to feel the impact of COVID-19 for months, and perhaps years, to come. They must be supported to survive the pandemic.

“Importantly, it appears that the flaws of the original small business program may be avoided in this new round, with a commitment that applications will not be assessed before the program closes. This contributed to inequitable outcomes in the original round of grants.

“We hope too that oversight by an independent panel will ensure a fairer outcome from the assessment process.

“Labor will continue to back business not just to recover from COVID-19, but to have a thriving future.

“Labor’s COVID-19 Recovery Package sets out a plan to support business and industry and get people into jobs, support those hardest hit by COVID-19, and build a better and fairer Tasmania.”

Anita Dow
Shadow Minister for Small Business