Industry body Business Australia has launched a free helpline for entrepreneurs struggling to get their heads around the government’s COVID-19 stimulus packages.
However, although it went live just five days ago, due to being overwhelmed with calls, the helpline was re-shaped into an e-mail service, and later re-surfaced as a call-back function.
It promises to help with understanding eligibility for grants, subsidies and other benefits, as well as advice on how to apply for support, and what paperwork business would be expected to provide.
The helpline opened on Friday, and according to Richard Spencer, Business Australia’s chief customer experience officer, it received about 200 calls over the weekend.
This early demand highlighted “the critical need for this service as businesses across the country work through complexities to access crucial financial support”, Spencer said in a statement.
By the following Tuesday, the advice line page showed an online enquiry form.
“We’re currently experiencing a high demand for this service so we’ll be responding to your questions via email,” the page said.
Now, that page has changed again, offering a form for business owners to request a call back.
Spencer said the initiative comes after the organisation received calls for help from some 40,000 members, who were trying to understand what support they were eligible for.
The idea is to “remove the guesswork”, he said, and to help business owners focus on sustaining their business as best they can.
You can access the service here. It operates from 9am to 8pm AEST.
It is available to registered Business Australia members, but registration is free, and effective immediately.