The State Government has announced it will fix the $650 energy rebate initiative, promised in the Federal and State Budgets, to ensure all small businesses will be eligible.
The resolution comes after the South Australian Business Chamber identified a critical issue where businesses operating within an embedded network, with tenants receiving their electricity bills directly from landlords, found themselves ineligible for the rebate.
To gauge the impact, the South Australian Business Chamber ran a poll and found that 38% of SA small businesses did not have their own electricity meter so would not receive the rebate.
In a letter sent to Treasurer Stephen Mullighan in September, the South Australian Business Chamber brought the issue to the attention of the government, advocating for a solution on behalf of those businesses.
Andrew Kay, CEO of the South Australian Business Chamber, expressed his concern over this significant gap in the rebate program.
“Rising energy costs are among the biggest concerns for South Australian businesses.
“This rebate was supposed to provide some relief for small businesses, and many had realised they would not receive any benefit,” Mr Kay added.
According to the South Australian Business Chamber’s December quarter 2022 Survey of Business Expectations, over 81% of businesses experienced electricity cost increases of up to 29% in the preceding 12 months.
“Businesses are operating in uncertain times. Our most recent survey results indicate business confidence has plummeted to levels last seen during the Global Financial Crisis.
“If businesses are promised assistance, it should be delivered,” Mr Kay added.
“We are very pleased the State Government responded quickly to our call for resolution.”