The regions peak business organisation, Business Hunter has welcomed the extensions to the JobSaver scheme announced today, in the midst of the extension of the Greater Sydney lockdown by a further four weeks.
“This is welcome support as the impact of the lockdown takes hold, with many businesses in the Hunter Region suffering and struggling to keep up as the lockdown has lengthened and the direct and indirect impacts broaden” said Business Hunter CEO Bob Hawes.
“It became increasingly clear the existing support measures for some business were insufficient and those impacted were struggling to meet the requirement of keeping the headcount in place in order to qualify for assistance.
“Both the Federal and State Governments have answered the call to extend the JobSaver program to make it more scalable and to assist larger businesses.
“The program has now been extended with a maximum weekly payment of $100,000, up from $10,000, to businesses with a turnover of up to $250 million and there is improved support for workers directly impacted who have lost hours” Mr Hawes said.
“Construction resuming in Sydney will also be a relief for contractors that may have been looking to the Hunter Region as an option to gain work whilst the shutdown was in place. This might also ease concerns in our community fearing unintentional transmission risking our virus free status.
“We’re fortunate in the Hunter in that we have many businesses that have not suffered greatly as a consequence of the lockdown, but this could change in a flash if cases were to emerge here and we must be mindful of that. The situation in relation to hotspots and the lockdown clearly remains volatile.
“The only way out of this is to continue to comply with government restrictions and get vaccinated as soon as possible” Mr Hawes said.
“The wider community needs to keep supporting local businesses and business people, whether that be direct patronage and custom or shopping with locals online or, importantly, reaching out to our friends in business with offers of help and a willing ear.”