Media Release published by The Member for Mount Gambier Troy Bell
A simple letter by a Mount Gambier accountant has resulted in positive news for hundreds of new businesses across South Australia, who may now potentially be eligible for financial support.
Following an appeal by Mount Gambier MP Troy Bell and accountant Josh Lewis, State Treasurer Rob Lucas has announced eligibility criteria for the State Government’s business support package will be expanded to include businesses established since December 2020.
Last week, Mr Lewis approached the Independent MP, highlighting the fact that some of his business clients were ineligible to apply for the funding, due to the fact they had no comparison data from previous years.
Writing to the Treasurer on behalf of Mr Lewis, Mr Bell received a personal reply from Mr Lucas, thanking him for highlighting the issue and expanding the eligibility criteria to include those relevant businesses.
In the letter, the Treasurer states that initially, applications from businesses commencing operations after December 2020 were not accepted for the Covid-19 Tourism, Hospitality and Gyms Grants and Covid-19 Hardship Grants.
“The Government has subsequently determined that eligibility for these grants will be extended to businesses that commenced trading after December 2020,” Mr Lucas wrote.
“From January 14, 2022, applications can be lodged by businesses that commenced operating between December 2020 and prior to 30 November 2021. For these businesses, the comparison period will be the average fortnightly trading activity between when the business commenced and 30 November 2021.”
Mr Lewis said it was great news for those previously ineligible businesses.
“I’m seeing first-hand the direct and indirect impacts the current restrictions are having on some businesses,” he said, “and I know how difficult it is for these business sectors to continue under ongoing restrictions and with no clear timeframe as to when they will end.
“I expect this to benefit hundreds of new businesses through South Australia who were previously disregarded.”
Mr Bell congratulated Mr Lewis, saying his letter had won the day for small businesses across the state.
“Josh took the time to respectfully highlight a problem, give a workable solution and he was listened to,” he said. “This is a great example of how our community can work together.
“Now, his actions may benefit hundreds of businesses across South Australia, who may just need a little confidence and support in the early stages to become permanent, to be able to employ local staff and contribute to our local economy.
“New businesses and start-ups deserve just as much support as established ones and now, they may be eligible for financial support at a time when it is most needed.”