Backing our local businesses is more important now than it has ever been.

Small and medium businesses (SMEs) have been particularly hard hit by the pandemic.

SMEs play such an important part in making our communities vibrant. They brew our coffee, make our food, tutor our children, build our homes and give our young people their start in the workforce. They are how our community stays afloat.

I have met with many businesses in the electorate over the last few months to hear about the challenges they are facing and how the Government can help.

Business owners have shared with me gutwrenching stories of having to put off valuable staff members. They have spoken of the huge costs of adapting their operations, and in some instances being forced to close their doors altogether. These stories are heartbreaking.

Yet I am also overwhelmed by their incredible resilience and courage.

For so many, JobKeeper has been a lifeline that has kept their doors open and their staff employed. One local business owner said to me, “If it weren’t for JobKeeper, I would have had to put off all my staff and close my doors. It’s the only reason we are open today.”

Businesses have also drawn on the cash flow boost, expansion of the instant asset write-offs and the JobTrainer program which is helping keep apprentices in jobs.

Thank you to all our local businesses for the risks you take every day to stay open and keep Australians employed.

All of us can play a part in keeping our businesses open and community employed. Back our local businesses by shopping and eating local.

I also invite businesses to contact me if you have any feedback regarding the provisions Government has put in place to assist you. Please email me at [email protected]