The region’s peak organisation for business, Business Hunter has welcomed today’s announcement that the NSW Government will continue a scaled back support scheme for businesses impact by the COVID-19 lockdown after the Commonwealth’s support dries up.
Business Hunter CEO, Bob Hawes, confirmed the NSW Government has decided to extend the Job Saver program to 30 November, with payments tapering to 15 per cent of payroll after we have hit the 80 per cent vaccinated milestone around 18 or 25 October.
“We welcome this extension of support for business and it’s a relief to know that the NSW Government will keep doing their bit to provide a little bit of certainty to business as we all prepare for reopening,” Mr Hawes said.
“This extension of state-funded JobSaver payments will go some way to providing a softer landing for many businesses across the state, but there are concerns among the business community that the Commonwealth’s move away from supporting economic recovery beyond lockdown will be a blow to others.
“We know there will be some businesses who won’t be able to snap back into action as readily as others.
“There will be businesses in the Hunter who are significantly impacted or unable to open due to the ongoing restrictions under the Public Health Orders and with travel restrictions between regions and closed state borders.
“In these cases, unfortunately, this NSW-only support is likely to be insufficient for them.” Mr Hawes said.
The existing support package has worked to date as the two elements of the Commonwealth supporting employees with the disaster payments, and both Commonwealth and State governments supporting businesses with JobSaver, hit the mark in keeping businesses going.
“Unfortunately, some employers in industries heavily impacted by restrictions will be left with the difficult decisions around rostering and retaining employees given the prospect of softened support,” Mr Hawes said.
“Adding insult to injury, businesses face losing key staff which reduces their capacity to be fully prepared for trade as normal, once the economy bounces back.
“I fear without additional support from the Commonwealth Government, some businesses who have survived the pandemic will stumble at the final hurdle,” Mr Hawes said.