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Tom Elliott questions why struggling small businesses don’t get the same support or sympathy as farmers

Tom Elliott has questioned why struggling small businesses don’t attract the same level of sympathy and support as farmers.

The 3AW Drive host said while he supported federal government intervention and support for drought-affected farmers, there was a focus on farmers rather than all business owners who might also be in dire straits because of the drought.

“This is all good, we like to rally around people doing it tough,” he said.

“Sometimes I wonder why we just focus on farmers.

“When you look at rural areas, what about publicans in small to medium towns? What about the person who sells farmers fertilisers and seed, they’ve got to be doing it tough, and yet we only ever think about the farmers.

“It’s always intrigued me, we all reach into our wallets when there’s a drought, but only for the people who grow things not for the people who service other businesses that depend on farmers’ wealth.

“And again when businesses in general shut down, we don’t seem to really worry too much about them.

“Surely someone who runs a bike ship in Richmond or a cafe in Abbotsford is just as important as a farmer, their lives, their businesses, their economic futures matter to them.”

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Peter Strong, CEO of the Small Business Council, agreed with Tom’s take on the matter.

“I’m not sure about lending the same assistance, but we should do something,” he said.

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