The importance of buying locally and how the government will support small businesses once the JobKeeper program ceases were among the topics discussed during Armadale’s business forum with WA Small Business Minister Paul Papalia.
The forum, facilitated by Member for Armadale Tony Buti, offered 26 business owners an opportunity to discuss how COVID-19 had impacted them and ascertain what support the state government planned to provide in the wake of the health crisis.
According to Mr Buti, business owners were most interested in what measures the state government was putting in place to encourage residents to buy local, visit small business and spend their money in their communities and how it planned to support small business long-term.
Armadale is believed to be one of the worst affected metropolitan areas in terms of unemployment as a result of the pandemic, with fears that it could have risen by as much as five per cent in the last three months.
By the end of June, it is estimated that about 4000 of those living and working in Perth’s south-east will have lost their jobs – the majority of whom worked in the retail, hospitality and education sectors.
The state government has implemented a suite of funding initiatives to support small businesses facing hardship, spending a total of $114 million on one-off grants and changes to the payroll tax threshold.
It is understood the state government is also introducing a series of planning reforms aimed at reducing red tape, streamlining approvals and removing barriers to allow business owners to focus on the job instead of unnecessary paperwork and approvals for simple works.
Reforms will also be introduced for a new development application process for significant, job-creating projects for the next 18 months to provide immediate support for the state’s economic recovery.