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Enforced vaccines? Calls for SMEs to be supported, protected and incentivised

Small businesses should be able to choose if refusing entry to unvaccinated customers and staff is in their best interests, says CCIQ.

Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland (CCIQ) is calling for businesses to be afforded the ability to protect their staff, customers and bottom line by limiting their COVID risk but they need to be incentivised, protected and supported.  

CCIQ Policy and Advocacy Manager Cherie Josephson said it was important businesses were able to choose to implement any new measures and not forced to comply with even more rules.  

“Businesses need to be empowered to plan their long-term recovery from the financial and emotional impacts of COVID and they don’t need ambiguous rules to follow, especially if it’s not clear how it helps them or the wider economy’s recovery,” Ms Josephson said.  

“If refusing entry to unvaccinated customers is the right thing to do for the business and the wider economy’s COVID recovery, they need to be given resources to implement that change. But if it’s not in their best interests, they should be able to continue running their business.” 

Ms Josephson said businesses need clear and accessible details about what any new directions mean for them; what they were and were not allowed to enforce, how they could do that and how to protect themselves.  

“Hundreds of thousands of small businesses across the state are today preparing for their COVID economic recovery with a December 17 border opening date for travellers secured,” Ms Josephson said. 

“It’s positive news for business and consumer confidence to have a light at the end of the tunnel, the certainty – clarity those business have been desperate for. 

“To ensure they can confidently prepare for that date, businesses need to know what they’re up against and how they will be supported, protected and incentivised if they choose to refuse entry to unvaccinated customers and staff. This detail needs to be communicated clearly and effectively, and with clear guidelines outlining business’ rights.  

“Changes to rules and abilities mean different things to the hundreds of thousands of small businesses in Queensland still focused on making the day-to-day decisions to keep their business open in the short term.  

“These small businesses need the resources to make a decision now about what these new abilities mean for them so they can focus on getting back to business.” 

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