New online portal to help resolve commercial disputes

07 June 2022

Victorian businesses can now access a new Victorian Small Business Commission (VSBC) help portal for services including dispute resolution

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After the Commercial Tenancy Relief Scheme (CTRS), created to assist Victorian businesses impacted by COVID-19, ended in March 2022, a new portal was built to help commercial parties with various matters.

The VSBC says its new help portal aims to improve customer experience, resolve commercial disputes more quickly, enhance how it engages with people in small business and their supporters, and leverage trends from enquiries and disputes to inform its work in advocating for small businesses.

Following the end of the CTRS, tenants and landlords are encouraged to discuss their circumstances and agree on appropriate rates or relief going forward.

If that option doesn’t work, either party can apply via the VSBC portal for free and impartial help to resolve the matter.

Assistance includes free, specialised advice early on and this can be escalated to involve low-cost mediation to negotiate a fair agreement.

The types of disputes that can be resolved include disagreements over retail leasing rights or obligations to goods or services perceived to be substandard.

The portal provides a modernised case management system in a secure environment and a smart form that will help identify the service required and provide the VSBC with information to best assist the customer.

First-time users will need to register once to create a personal account with their preferred email and password, allowing for ongoing secure access to the portal.

The portal can be accessed here.

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