04 Jun A voice for franchising and small business in unprecedented times
By Mary Aldred, CEO, Franchise Council of Australia.
A lot has changed over the past months.
Our businesses and community have had to face the massive challenges created by restrictions to stop the spread of COVID-19.
For the FCA, it has meant stepping up our advocacy and activity to represent members’ interests and concerns to government while delivering timely information, business advice and practical support to help meet the trading and workplace challenges.
The response from our members has been terrific, including more than a hundred emails and messages of thanks and congratulations, as well as significant positive feedback from government and media.
We have taken a strong public stance on the key issues which have impacted on the sustainability of franchising and small business, and the wellbeing of owners, managers and staff.
Some of the key platforms have been:
- the need for rental relief and government intervention as some landlords refused to negotiate despite the plight of their tenants, especially in retailing;
- the need for tangible government support for businesses to help maintain staff and supplement their income as trading revenue evaporated;
- assisting with expert advice on managing staff working from home, including maintaining their commitment, morale and mental health; and
- calling on the big food delivery networks experiencing a huge lift in volumes to help the struggling food retail and hospitality groups rather than profiteer.
- currently making strong representations to the Federal Government on the issue of redefining casual workers, and we are hopeful of an improved result.
Small businesses have been hit hard by COVID-19 and although restrictions are starting to be eased, the impacts on individual businesses and the economy nationally will be felt for some time.
The FCA is continuing to work closely with government and other industry peak bodies to ensure that the voice of franchising and small business is heard by government as we head down the path to economic recovery.