Please help Local Traders

Underground works

GERA has received a request from the local traders (Bentleigh, McKinnon and Ormond) who been adversely impacted by the current level crossing removal project.  The traders have asked us to urge our readers to support them in their quest to receive some financial assistance from the State Government.

Local Traders are reliant on passing trade and the local customers, the major disruptions arising from the massive project has caused their customers to shop elsewhere.  Unlike residents, who have been offered various forms of financial assistance, the traders have not been offered any financial assistance (eg. short term, low interest loans) even though the disruptive impact on small businesses was just as foreseeable.  While nearby food outlet businesses have prospered (Age, 17/6/2016), many other local businesses have been forced to close.

GERA encourages our readers to

Below is the appeal received.

My shop Mad Flowers McKinnon was forced to close a few months ago.  This was as a direct result of LCRP. Make no mistake we needed the level crossings to go but they have ignored our suggestions at meetings regarding harm minimization. There are 10 businesses which have had to close and there are many more who don’t think they’ll make it through these final months.

The LCRA have offered traders

  1. telephone number for Lifeline
  2. email project updates
  3. a generic colour brochure
  4. 3 free mentoring sessions through “The Small Business Mentoring Service Vic. (with volunteer mentors)

 The govt have cut off rail and road access to our businesses and we are suffocating. We can’t make a living and just need a bit of a hand financially to get through it.  But our politicians tell us, “Short term pain for long term gain” and will not help us beyond the above listed measures.

I have been told by the LCRA that there are 1300 residences along the rail corridor. Some of these people have accepted the offers of staying at Quest Hotel/Apartments during these 34 days of noisy works.  Along with offers of house and pool cleaning, gardening services and regular car wash vouchers.

Originally govt were not prepared to offer any compensation or purchase houses under the Sky Rail but with the public’s loud persistent protests, offers have been forthcoming. I know its not the outcome homeowners wanted but its a start. We’ve lost our homes and businesses and are being told to get over it.  I was hoping your assoc. could encourage its members to email Nick Staikos MP and Philip Dalidakis MP and tell them they should be supporting local traders financially to get through the LCRP.   The LCRP was moved forward time wise so as to be well and truly  completed before the next State elections. Hoping that all the inconvenience will be forgotten.

Business interruption insurers consider government projects to be in same category as an “Act of God” and therefore the Insurance Co does not pay.

Please can you help us?

 

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Disclaimer – Please note that while GERA supports the Local Traders in their quest for financial assistance from the State Government, any opinions expressed above are those of the Author and are not necessarily those of GERA.

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