The total number of applications received by VSBC since its commencement in 2003 has reached 20,000!
This number includes all dispute applications as well as applications for appointment of specialist retail valuers, investigations, ministerial determinations and farm debt mediation related certificates.
In 2016-17 just over 1700 dispute applications were referred to the VSBC with 31 per cent resolved by VSBC staff before going to mediation, as outlined in the 2016-17 Annual Report. There was a 4.6 per cent increase in the number of disputes referred to the VSBC during the year.
Victorian Small Business Commissioner Judy O’Connell said reaching the milestone of 20,000 applications was testament to the role of the VSBC in helping to resolve issues between businesses through mediation.
“I would love it if no one needed to submit an application for help, but we know that disputes can and do arise, so having an independent office that can assist small businesses is crucial,” Ms O’Connell said.
In 2016-17, just over 1870 applications were referred to the VSBC, 683 went through mediation and 80% of the completed mediations successfully resolved the dispute.
“We keep small businesses out of the court system. Mediation is a quick, low-cost and effective process – so all parties can get on with the job of running their business,” she said.