Help with wages, business loans and support for agriculture: Here’s what SME owners want from the government’s stimulus package

The government is currently putting together a multibillion-dollar stimulus package to attempt to counter the looming effects of the coronavirus.

Reportedly, wage subsidies, cash injections and tax breaks are all on the cards.

There are, however, differing reports about the size of the stimulus package: The Australian reports the total package could be worth more than $10 billion, while the Sydney Morning Herald has it closer to $3 billion.

On Friday, we asked our readers what they want the package to include, and what support they need.

Here are their wishlists.

Wage support

“Not shut down businesses. Or, cover wages for businesses that are ordered to shut down.”

— Derek McKinnon

Business loans

“Very low business loans to cover lost revenue because of the recent bushfires. Currently not covered unless you lost building and/or stock. No coverage if you lost 75% of your revenue.”

— Wendy

A focus on agriculture

“A stimulus package aimed at agriculture will develop small towns right across Australia. Get some of the population out of the big cities where this virus and many other overcrowded life-threatening unpleasantries have developed.

“A couple of history lessons you will not be aware of to put forgotten agriculture in perspective.

“In 1988, Australia had 174 million sheep. Today we have 70 million sheep and about 4,000 shearers. That’s thousands of jobs gone and the government doesn’t even count agriculture.

“In 2011, the Gillard government banned cattle exports to Indonesia. For six months, a $300 million trade was halted. This was a monumental governmental catastrophic event.

“And you didn’t know!!??

“Agriculture has capacity and scope to move the population. Bastardised by the government relentlessly for over 20 years now… are farmers hated by government?

“Is it government ignorance? Or plain stupidity on the government’s behalf?

“Agriculture is the answer to all the city problems like pollution, traffic congestion, virus outbreaks, etc, etc, etc.”

— Brendan Mahoney

More to come

Send your wishlist, and your name, to [email protected] for publication.

NOW READ: The government is reportedly considering wage subsidies for its multi-billion-dollar coronavirus stimulus package. But is this what, or all, business needs?

NOW READ: Urgent action is needed to ensure Australian agriculture survives, let alone thrives

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