Victorian Small Business Commission
Hume’s small business owners will have more support when it comes to disputes, with the Victorian Small Business Commission (VSBC) having local mediator David Martin come on board.
When a small business has a dispute, the VSBC can bring the business owner and the other party together with an independent mediator to talk through the issues confidentially and try to reach an agreement.
Commissioner Judy O’Connell said having another experienced mediator based in the region is a definite win for Hume.
“It’s great that small business owners will be able to access more help in resolving their dispute locally without needing to take time away from their business to travel to and from Melbourne,” Commissioner O’Connell said.
Albury-Wodonga local Mr Martin is an accredited mediator and lawyer who has a firm understanding of people’s rights and responsibilities when it comes to contract issues, and a keen interest in helping farmers and creditors to resolve disputes about farm debt.
He said finding yourself in a dispute can be a really challenging and stressful experience.
“This is why I take the time to understand the concerns of each party and explain the process and my role, taking a positive approach wherever I can,” Mr Martin said.
“My role is to stay neutral and impartial throughout mediation as I guide parties in resolving conflict and moving towards agreement.”
Commissioner O’Connell said mediation with the VSBC works, as it saves small businesses a lot of money and time.
“They don’t have to pay costly legal fees or go through lengthy court proceedings, meaning they can get back to running their businesses quicker,” Commissioner O’Connell said.
In 2018–19 the VSBC helped a record 2,074 small businesses to resolve their disputes, achieving a success rate of 82 per cent for completed mediations.