ONLINE RESOURCE TO ASSIST SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS
A world-first online resource has been launched for small business owners diagnosed with a life-threatening illness.
Small Business Minister Joe Helper said the Brumby Government's Illness and Business Management Plan would help business owners plan for the day-to-day running and long-term future of their business, while they come to terms with the physical, emotional and financial impact of a serious illness.
"The Brumby Government is taking action to support Victoria's small business owners through the launch of this online resource," Mr Helper said.
"A diagnosis of a life-threatening illness can come when it's least expected, and bring to a head many issues such as debts, loan repayments and succession planning.
"Particularly in the current economic climate, small business owners and those around them need clear information about how to provide for the contingencies that arise."
The Small Business Victoria Illness and Business Management Plan provides practical support in the form of information sheets, checklists, contacts and case studies.
The plan guides business owners through questions such as how to inform staff, appointing Power of Attorney, deciding what to do with the business and accessing support from a range of organisations.
Mr Helper said small and medium businesses play a crucial role in Victoria's economy, which account for more than 99 per cent of all Victorian businesses and employ nearly one million people.
"Small business owners are busy, capable people at the best of times. However, diagnosis of an illness can trigger an overwhelming number of questions, tasks and decisions needing immediate resolution, often before the owner has had time to take in their diagnosis," he said.
Small Business Victoria developed the Illness and Business Management Plan in consultation with Cancer Council Victoria, Heart Foundation, Chronic Illness Alliance, the Department of Human Services and many individuals who have faced life-threatening illness.
The plan is available at www.business.vic.gov.au/illness