Small Business Commissioner Reappointed

Judy O’Connell has been reappointed as Small Business Commissioner until November 2022.

Minister for Small Business Adem Somyurek today announced the reappointment of Ms O’Connell, who has been a strong advocate for Victorian small businesses over the past three years – helping them resolve disputes and building a fair and competitive operating environment.

In addition to helping thousands of Victorian small businesses through a well utilised dispute resolution scheme Ms O’Connell delivered the Grow Your Business Together initiative in the Latrobe Valley, created engagement guidelines for infrastructure projects impacting small businesses and developed a mental health plan to help small business owners maintain their wellbeing in her first term.

Ms O’Connell also launched the Small Business Friendly Council initiative, which commits local councils to actions that will help create a supportive environment for local businesses.

Victoria’s Small Business Commission began operating in 2003 and was the first of its kind in Australia. Its model has since been replicated across the country.

A mediation session with the Small Business Commission costs $195, saving owners and operators thousands of dollars in dispute resolution costs as well as time and stress from being away from their businesses.

Over the past year, the Commission has helped address more than 2,070 disputes with the most common being unpaid invoices, retail leases, repairs and maintenance and contracts.

More than 80 per cent of mediation cases were successfully resolved in that period with 93 per cent of clients indicating they were satisfied with the Commission’s services.

Small businesses are vital to the Victorian economy with more than 604,000 operations supporting almost half of all private sector jobs in the state.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Small Business Adem Somyurek

“Judy and the Small Business Commission team have done great work over the past three years and I look forward to continue working with them to support and promote Victorian small businesses.”

“Under Ms O’Connell’s leadership the Small Business Commission has helped make Victoria the best place to do business and her reappointment ensures that this will continue.”

Quote attributable to Small Business Commissioner Judy O’Connell

“I’m really proud to be continuing our work in advocating for people in small businesses across Victoria and look forward to furthering our efforts over the coming three years.”