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Local businesses ‘falling through cracks’ of COVID-19 support scheme

Victorian businesses say they’ve “fallen through the cracks” of the state government’s COVID-19 business support fund.

Vanessa Parsons, who runs the Choc Top ice-cream company on the Mornington Peninsula, has seen her business drop by more than 90 per cent due to the economic effects of the coronavirus.

She appears to tick every box on the criteria, however her application for the $10,000 was rejected.

“We’re trading at about 10 per cent of our average turnover and have been doing so for five weeks now,” Vanessa explained.

“We supplied all that evidence with our application.”

And she’s not alone.

3AW Mornings then received several other calls from business owners in a similar position.

“There’s got to be some common sense here. Her business ticks every box,” Neil Mitchell said.

He was sent the following statement from Martin Pakula’s office.

The Business Support Fund was designed to provide support to Victorian businesses that operate in those sector of the economy that were most directly affected or severely impacted by the shutdowns ordered by the government to protect public health.

There is provision to consider the case of businesses that fall outside the fund guidelines, where exceptional circumstances exist. The department is happy to reconsider this case in line with those provisions.

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