CCIWA Chief Economist
CCIWA welcomes the increased support announced under the Level 2 Business Assistance Package, and calls for a flexible, common-sense approach to assessing eligibility.
In line with CCIWA calls, support is being extended to WA’s sole traders and microbusinesses, and is available to all impacted businesses, not just those in select sectors. This is an improved approach, and tiered support between $3,000 and $50,000 is comparable with other States.
However CCIWA is concerned that even our hardest-hit businesses may struggle to meet a 50% reduction in turnover standard assessed against January–April 2021. Further to generally reduced operations during pandemic conditions, it is notable that this assessment period includes two economic lockdowns. Businesses may be deeply and genuinely impacted, but unable to prove losses of that depth at that time.
As such the Government is urged to take a flexible, common-sense approach to assessing applications to the program, which may include comparing turnover with pre-COVID levels, or taking into account other factors. This will enable more of the sole, micro and small businesses who have been included in this package and need support, to be eligible.
We acknowledge that this is the fifth program of support introduced by the State Government in recent months, important recognition of the pressures and costs borne by WA businesses. Coming weeks may prove to be the toughest in the pandemic for many businesses and CCIWA continues to engage with Government on the best support.