Another massive blow for Sydney retailers, with no safety-net

Friday 25 June 2021

The Australian Retailers Association (ARA) said the stay-at-home orders to be introduced across Sydney and the Eastern Suburbs are a massive blow for retailers especially small businesses already struggling from the ongoing Covid impacts.

ARA CEO Paul Zahra said the week-long restrictions for the City of Sydney, Woollahra, Waverley and Randwick local government areas will lead to at least half a billion dollars in lost retail trade and will take business and consumer confidence backwards.

“The NSW Government has done an admirable job keeping the state open throughout the pandemic and the stay-at-home orders are a measured response to the new Covid cases that continue to emerge. We recognise the importance of containing the virus, but we can’t ignore the fact these further restrictions come at great cost, particularly for small businesses in the CBD,” Mr Zahra said.

“The Sydney CBD was experiencing a slow and staggered recovery before this latest outbreak, due to large volumes of people working from home and the lack of tourists and international students. The stay-at-home orders for the next week will compound their pain. It’s also a major blow for tourism operators, particularly those in regional areas, with families now having to cancel their plans to travel during the school holidays.

“With a safety-net like JobKeeper no longer around, and much less stimulus in the economy, we hold concerns for those small businesses who were already at breaking point before this latest outbreak.

“Retailers and their teams, as always, will work cooperatively with government to comply with restrictions and help contain the spread of the virus. We ask customers within essential retail services to comply with instore protocols respectfully to help minimise the occurrence of instore disputes or aggression for these hard-working frontline staff.

“Vaccination uptake is critical to return our economy to stability and minimise the advent of future restrictions. We hope the NSW health authorities get on top of this latest outbreak and the new restrictions and stay-at-home orders don’t have to continue for longer than absolutely necessary.”

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