Victoria continues to set the standard for business dispute resolution, with today marking 6,000 days since the landmark passing of the Small Business Commissioner Bill in 2003 by the Bracks Labor Government.
Minister for Small Business Adem Somyurek announced the milestone at the unveiling of new mediation rooms at the Victorian Small Business Commission offices in the CBD.
The refurbished rooms are better equipped with increased security and more privacy to give businesses the best possible dispute resolution experience.
Victoria’s Small Business Commission was the first of its kind in Australia and is designed to be an advocate on issues affecting small businesses, educating people on their rights and responsibilities and helping resolve disputes before they reach court. This role has since been replicated across the country.
More than 21,600 people have been helped to resolve disputes since the commission began operating on 1 May 2003.
Over the past year alone the Small Business Commission has helped small business owners and operators with more than 2,070 disputes, the most common involving unpaid invoices, retail leases, repairs and maintenance, and contracts.
Businesses that take part in mediation to resolve a dispute typically save thousands of dollars, with a Small Business Commission session costing $195.
The Andrews Labor Government is also backing small businesses by reducing red tape through regulation reviews, the Better Approvals Project and by helping them get paid on time through the Australian Supplier Payment Code.
Victorian small business owners are leading the Australian small business community, with an annual growth rate of 4.8 per cent.
Small businesses are vital to Victoria’s economy – more than 604,000 small businesses operating in the state generate almost half of all private sector jobs.
As stated by Minister for Small Business Adem Somyurek
“From passing the Bill in 2003 to the unveiling of brand-new mediation facilities at the Victorian Small Business Commission today, Victoria is a clear leader when it comes to business dispute resolution.”
“Small businesses are vital to Victoria and we want to do everything possible to make sure they can succeed, boost the economy and create more local jobs.”
As stated by Victorian Small Business Commissioner Judy O’Connell
“I’m proud of the work that the Commission has done to help people in small businesses and I look forward to continuing to provide Victorians with effective ways to resolve disputes so they can get back to business quicker.”