More Victorian small businesses are receiving the help they need to resolve disputes, with the Victorian Small Business Commission assisting a record 2,074 owners and operators in 2018-2019.
The Commission is also handling 10 per cent more new disputes compared with a year earlier ─ attributable to increased awareness around owners and tenants’ rights and the avenues available to lodge disputes.
The most common disputes were on unpaid invoices (36.7 per cent), retail leases (20.8 per cent), repairs and maintenance (17.1 per cent) and contracts (16.3 per cent).
Despite seeing an increased number of disputes, the Commission has had to mediate fewer of them, with more being resolved at an earlier stage through professional advice and support.
Some 82 per cent of cases that did reach mediation were resolved successfully with the parties involved indicating their satisfaction with the outcome.
The Victorian Small Business Commission is a statutory authority established by the Andrews Labor Government to provide low-cost dispute resolution services for small businesses in Victoria.
For more information on dispute resolution through the Commission, go to vsbc.vic.gov.au/dispute-resolution.
The Business Victoria hotline is also available to small business owners and operators needing answers. The hotline number is 13 22 15.
As noted by Minister for Small Business Adem Somyurek
“We are committed to creating a fairer business environment and this data shows the Victorian Small Business Commission is helping small business owners spend less time on disputes and more time on growing their business.”
As noted by Victorian Small Business Commissioner Judy O’Connell
“I’m pleased that we’re able to help so many small business owners in resolving their disputes and get them back to running their businesses quicker.
“I encourage all small business owners to contact the Victorian Small Business Commission if they are experiencing great difficulties in their dealings with another party.”