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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 09 Hansard (Thursday, 16 September 2021) . . Page.. 2622 ..


Amanda and Caleb Thorson who have run their studio for 12 years, saying that they had become used to the emotional rollercoaster of running a small business. What really struck me were Amanda’s words, “You learn to live with the stress. It becomes normal. It is just a different way of life that a lot of people do not understand”. Amanda is right—small business is a different way of life that a lot of people do not understand, but we do expect our government to understand, don’t we?

You would think the needs and issues of small business being smashed in this lockdown would be of particular concern and importance to our government right now. Yes, that is what you would hope for, but it is not the case. Instead, we have more severe lockdowns with little to no support or understanding of the plight of small business.

That is why this motion calls for a defined path for business out of lockdown—in other words, a path of hope and possibility for small business, a path and a plan that a government should provide because governments are meant to lead. The Liberal leader’s motion also highlights the urgent need for a business recovery task force so small business can tell our ministers exactly how it is and what they need. It is not rocket science; it is called leadership. Sadly, the small business sector is yet to see any leadership from this government—just bigger dollops of hardship, little understanding of their world, and promised support yet to eventuate.

MS CHEYNE (Ginninderra—Assistant Minister for Economic Development, Minister for the Arts, Minister for Business and Better Regulation, Minister for Human Rights and Minister for Multicultural Affairs) (3.23): I move:

Omit all words after “notes” (first occurring), substitute:

“(a) the COVID-19 outbreak in the ACT and subsequent lockdown from 12 August 2021 has been a challenging time for all Canberrans;

(b) our thanks to the Canberrans working on the frontline to keep our community safe;

(c) the effort made by all Canberrans to suppress the virus;

(d) many ACT businesses have not been able to operate in their usual way or in any form for over four weeks;

(e) the significant impact the current lockdown is having on ACT businesses;

(f) ACT businesses have borne the economic brunt of the lockdown, including mental health impacts, with many significantly concerned for the future of their business;

(g) the significant economic support that the ACT Government has put in place to support businesses, including:

(i) grants funded in a 50:50 arrangement with the Commonwealth Government and administered by the ACT Government, including:

(A) the COVID-19 Business Support Grant of one-off grants of $20 000 for eligible employing businesses and $7500 for eligible non-employing businesses;


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