Media Release 26th September 2020
Mobile non-employing sole traders will miss out again.
Despite the government rolling out an additional round of support, including the welcomed Business Support Fund specifically for non-employing sole traders, a large chunk of non-employing sole traders will miss out.
Non employing sole traders whose businesses do not lease commercial premises and are run from home will receive no support. Industries such as the tip truck and hire car industry as well as many other businesses fall in this category.
Eastern Metropolitan MP, Mr Rod Barton noted that the government had already provided rent relief and support to commercial tenants but was disappointed to learn that those sole traders who missed out previously will miss out again.
“I would never say that this support is not needed for those businesses……[but] there are non-employing sole trader businesses out there, many in the transportation sector, with extraordinary loans and overheads who are yet to qualify for any financial support whatsoever.” Stated Mr Barton.
Victorians in the hire car and tip truck industries are drowning in debt on vehicles, machinery and equipment required to provide their business services. The cost of a tip truck is upwards of a couple of hundred thousand dollars. If you add the loan repayments cost and, like hire car operators, if they have a small fleet of trucks, these individuals are at wits end.
As someone once said, interest on debts grows without rain.
With little to no income and unable to pay their lenders, many face the possibility of losing their homes or selling their vehicles and machinery. This is their business; it is their job and their livelihood. What then for these people as the restrictions ease and the economy recovers? They are faced with the prospect of starting completely from scratch.
It is time that the government revaluated the eligibility criteria to include businesses who are continuing to miss out.
In a letter to the Premier, Mr Barton stated “I am offering to work with [you] to address the shortcomings of the existing COVID support programs to focus on expanding the eligibility criteria….[to] catch those people who through no fault of their own are repeatedly falling through the cracks”.
Quotes attributable to Rod Barton.
“There are non-employing sole trader businesses out there, many in the transportation sector, with extraordinary loans and overheads who are yet to qualify for any financial support whatsoever”
“As per my original suggestion in my initial correspondence on this matter, I am offering to work with the government to address the shortcomings of the existing COVID support programs to focus on expanding the eligibility criteria to broaden the types of businesses eligible for support rather than merely expanding the funding to the same few.”