This Valentine’s day, WA consumers can show small businesses some love, not only by shopping with them, but also by being kind.

There have been some concerning reports in the media lately about members of the public who disagree with proof of vaccination requirements taking their frustrations out on small business owners and staff. Astonishingly, this has even escalated to physical violence on occasions.

This seems especially unfair when many small businesses have gone the extra mile throughout the COVID-19 pandemic to continue to serve their customers. They have made sure that not only essential goods and services, like food, drink and health items are available, but have also delivered products and services that have made life enjoyable during difficult times. There is no doubt that many of us have enjoyed gifting and receiving locally produced items or services from a small business over the past two years.

Be kind to small businesses

The WA Government has created a new asset to remind some members of the public to be kind to staff when visiting businesses. The posters remind visitors that proof of vaccination requirements are mandated by the government, not business owners or staff who are simply following the rules. The directions are designed to keep Western Australians safe by limiting the spread of COVID-19 in the community. Individuals can face a fine of up to $50,000 and bodies corporate up to $250,000 for failing to comply with these directions.

While the majority of the WA public has been doing the right thing, a small number of people are taking out their anger about public health measures on innocent workers and proprietors of small business. If you have encountered any such behaviour, I urge you to:

  1. Use our Proof of vaccination requirements toolkit for tips on how to manage this process in your business (including tips of dealing with unhappy customers).
  2. Download the Proof of vaccination - be kind poster from the Safe transition stakeholder toolkit and install it at your business’ entry.

As always, our team of advisers is on hand to help you with any concerns or challenges you are facing in your business so please contact us for support.

David Eaton
Small Business Commissioner

SBDC news
14 February 2022