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To support small business, big businesses must pay on time, or earlier

31 March 2020

Minister for Small and Family Business, Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash, said that reports of large businesses delaying payments to their small business suppliers or requesting cash on delivery from their small business customers are disturbing and completely out of step with the Prime Minister’s call for all Australians to step up and share the load.

Minister Cash said that the Prime Minister has made his expectations clear - big businesses must step up and do what they can to support small and family businesses in the face of the COVID-19 outbreak. 

Minister Cash said the spread of COVID-19 has impacted every Australian business, but big businesses making payments to small businesses on time and even ahead of time is something that will make a critical difference in helping small businesses continue to operate and survive.

“We find ourselves in an unprecedented economic climate but as the Prime Minister said: ‘we all need to share the load’.”

Minister Cash said that big business is no exception. 

“It is an extraordinarily difficult time for all business, large and small, but we are in this together.  

“Large businesses have stewardship over important supply chains and it is critical that they pay their suppliers on time and even ahead of time, for the good of the businesses involved and ultimately the whole economy. 

“This will say more about those large businesses, their corporate values and the integrity of their brand than anything else they’ve likely done as an organisation. 

“The Government has changed its payment system, to make sure small businesses receive payment for government contracts under $1 million within 20 days and where e-invoicing is used the government will pay in 5 days or less.”

Some big businesses have recently taken steps to reduce their payment times but we call upon more businesses to follow this lead.

The Morrison Government has also announced an historic $320 billion economic support package to help pay Australians wages, keep businesses running, and supporting the unemployed.

These measures are available to support businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes:

  • The introduction of JobKeeper Payment of $1,500 per fortnight, per eligible employee, for up to 6 months.
  • Tax free payments of up to $100,000 will be made to eligible businesses with a turnover of under $50 million, to provide temporary cash flow support to businesses that employ staff.
  • The Coronavirus Guarantee Scheme for new unsecured loans in working capital to help businesses with a turnover of under $50 million through the coming months.
  • The expansion of the Morrison Government’s Business Hotline – 13 28 46 – to provide specialist advisers and extended hours to support impacted small and medium businesses.
  • Helping sole trader by temporarily expanding eligibility to income support payments and establishing a new, Coronavirus supplement to be paid at a rate of $550 per fortnight.
  • A 50 per cent wage subsidy that will support up to 70,000 small businesses and around 117,000 apprentices.
  • The early release of up to $20,000 in super for individuals in financial stress.

For more information visit www.australia.gov.au
Media contact: Minister Cash's office 02 6277 7610