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COSBOA welcomes re-opening support but calls it ‘only one piece of the puzzle’

COSBOA welcomes the new business support measures announced by NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet yesterday.

Eligible small businesses in NSW will be able to claim a rebate of $2,000 for certain government fees, including tolls. The Premier also announced a stock guarantee, whereby small businesses will be able to claim up to $20,000 for loss of perishable stock due to a future lockdowns.

COSBOA CEO Alexi Boyd said “These support measures are good news for small businesses in NSW. The feedback we hear is that every cent of support counts.

“We’re also glad that the NSW Government is addressing the fear and uncertainty about future lockdowns.

“The loss of perishable stock is one of the biggest financial blows associated with short lockdowns that occur with little-to-no notice. This fear can make businesses reluctant to invest or to open fully.

“This stock guarantee will go a long way in giving small business owners in food and hospitality the confidence they need to order the stock they require to open fully during the Christmas – New Year period. It will also be helpful to other small businesses in the food supply chain, including farmers, manufacturers, truck drivers, wholesalers, and distributors.”

Ms Boyd continued “This support, while great, is only one piece of the puzzle. Victoria and the ACT haven’t announced targeted, post-reopening support yet. We don’t know what the other five states and territories will do to support small businesses in the reopening phase.

“We are still hearing from our members that small businesses are struggling to find staff and that it’s impeding on their ability to reopen. That problem needs to be addressed. The reopening of international borders to students and targeted migration strategies will ease this; however, geographically based lockdowns, furloughing of staff at an exposure site, and TTIQ requirements are still causing concern.

“Small businesses still have many unanswered questions about COVID safety, vaccinations, and liability, all of which are impeding on their ability to recover.”

Ms Boyd added “There many sectors being impacted by the fear of snap lockdowns and subsequent reluctance to invest. For instance, many people and companies still feel that it’s too risky to plan large events, leaving the many small businesses and sole traders in the events industry – including event planners, venues, equipment hire companies, caterers, technicians, photographers, performers, and more – largely out of work.

Ms Boyd concluded “One thing we’ve learned over the past nearly two years is that we often underestimate the knock-on effects of COVID restrictions. It’s not just the customer-facing businesses you see on the main street who get hit. We need to be willing to change and expand the support on offer in this evolving situation. .”

By COSBOA
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