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Small business ombudsman launches COVID-19 resource

Business

The office of the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman has added a dedicated section for SME owners struggling with the economic effects of the coronavirus to its web portal.

By Aidan Curtis 11 minute read

My Business Health, a web portal designed to provide holistic support to SME owners, now has a dedicated section to help struggling businesses through the current economic crisis.

ASBFEO Kate Carnell said in a statement that her office has been inundated with “distressing” stories of SMEs decimated by the ripple effects of the coronavirus.

“Small businesses are in a world of pain right now, with many forced to close their doors and others fighting to survive,” Ms Carnell said.

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“Many of these small-business owners will be too busy in their efforts to stay afloat to realise the toll it’s taking on their mental health.

“My Business Health offers simple and practical information to help small businesses find their way through this difficult time.”

Ms Carnell said the added section includes the latest information on government support measures, and assistance with employer obligations, finances, available government payments, loans and tax.

“There are also a number of resources by leading mental health organisations such as Beyond Blue, Lifeline and Everymind that deal with the impact of COVID-19 specifically,” she said.

In acknowledging the “extraordinary challenges” faced by Australian SMEs, Ms Carnell wanted to reassure the SME community that current conditions are temporary and that things will eventually return to normal.

“My office will be working hard to ensure small businesses are supported throughout this difficult journey,” Ms Carnell said.

“But during the coming weeks and months, find ways to work on your business — consider the changes you can make to adjust to this new environment if possible — and be kind to yourselves.

“Try to take time out for your wellbeing because your business ultimately depends on it. Visiting My Business Health is an excellent starting point.”

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Aidan Curtis

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