Northern business owners who were excluded from the original $20 million COVID support package will now be able to access relief after the state government reviewed its terms.
"Micro" businesses with an annual turnover of $25,000, who have experienced at least a 30 per cent reduction over a two week period will be eligible for the grants.
The offering will assist sole traders such as taxi drivers, airport transfer drivers, musicians and other micro businesses who missed out in the original round of relief.
Tasmanian Small Business Council chief executive Robert Mallett said it was good to see the government offering cash incentives to help businesses during these difficult COVID times.
He said most businesses, irrespective of their size, were considering whether it was a good business decision to continue.
"The government have recognised that despite these being micro businesses, they still have a part to play in our economy, and that little bit of support to tide them over in a tough time is good politics and good business," Mr Mallett said.
"When we get vaccinated and borders open we are going to be very busy, so we need these people to be in business. It is good that the government is giving some incentive to keep going, to help business realise that it will get better and to not give in."
Small Business minster Jane Howlett said the new Border Closure Critical Support Program will open on Friday, September 3.
"We acknowledge that there are businesses that have fallen outside the original eligibility criteria for the most recent Business Support Package," Ms Howlett said.
"The new program will be similar but will also cater for micro and small businesses that are suffering hardship as a result of the lock-downs and border restrictions but have not been eligible for the current [grants]," she said.
"To be eligible for a grant, a business must demonstrate that as a direct consequence of the lock-downs and border closures restrictions, they have experienced a reduction in turnover of at least 30 per cent for a minimum consecutive two-week period from 26 June in either 2019 or 2020 compared with any equivalent two weeks after 26 June 2021."
Labor small business spokeswoman Janie Finlay said Labor had been lobbying government for weeks to increase support for small businesses.
"They have finally listened. This increased support is a win for businesses, a win for the economy and a win for all Tasmanians," she said.
"In the time it took Small Business Minister Jane Howlett to act, Tasmanians heard the heartbreaking story of independent taxi driver Mr Paul Lewis. Tasmanians saw the courage of publican Douglas O'Niel to speak up and Tasmanians heard from Restaurant owner Bianca Welsh about how hard it really is.
"It took all of these stories, numerous headlines and relentless questions in parliament for Minister Howlett to finally act and deliver better support."
Ms Finlay said the government must continue to lobby the federal government for further hardship support.
The original program provided $2000 of relief to sole traders with an annual turnover of between $50,000 and $100,000, $5000 to small business with a turnover of between $100,000 and $1 million, and $10,000 to business with turnover of between $1 million and $10 million.
Ms Howlett said over the past two weeks the program had received 620 applications, and 473 businesses had been approved.
She said 410 have already received funds to a total of more than $2 million.
Mr Mallett said every grant would help keep small businesses alive.
"They are going to be needed in the future, and every single enterprise which has the capacity to employ the owner on a good wage or an opportunity to employ additional people is what government and the community is looking for in the long run."
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