Small Business Enquiries To ACCC Up 42% During COVID-19
The ACCC has said that the number of enquiries made to the ACCC in the first half of the year rose by 42%, largely as a result of issues related to the COVID-19 crisis.
“The impact of the pandemic on small businesses has been enormous and we have re-prioritised our work and resources to help businesses and consumers work through many of the issues,” said ACCC Deputy Chair Mick Keogh.
“Around half of all the COVID-19 related contacts the ACCC received to the end of June came from small businesses in the travel, healthcare and medical supplies, fitness, and event management sectors.”
Over 3,000 small businesses contacted the ACCC in the first half of the year. Of this figure, roughly two-thirds were reporting potential misconduct and one-third were asking about business rights and obligations.
A further 1,200 small businesses reported scams, which saw $4.5 million in losses from January to June 2020.
“When people think of scam victims they imagine vulnerable consumers, but scammers target small businesses too and they are re-inventing old payment scams with COVID-19 themes,” said Keogh.