The Executive Director of the Australian Retailers Association, Russell Zimmerman, has lauded the $750 million package announced today by the NSW government amid business shutdowns due to Coronavirus, saying the scheme offered “significant assistance and relief” to retailers and other businesses fighting to stay afloat during the crisis.
Speaking after the plan was announced by Premier Gladys Berejiklian, Mr Zimmerman said the package – providing grants of up to $10,000 to eligible businesses – would assist smaller retailers facing unprecedented cash flow shortages.
“The ARA welcomes the NSW initiative, and I’d like to thank the Premier on behalf of small retailers,” Mr Zimmerman said.
Mr Zimmerman said the package – the third tranche of stimulus support announced by NSW – would put $750 million into a Small Business Support Fund and provide real, rapid relief to small businesses in need of a lifeline to sustain them in the event of a likely recession.
“The COVID-19 outbreak has already imposed unprecedented challenges on small retail businesses, many of which face a struggle to survive; this package complements previous packages which included $5 billion of payroll tax waivers, other tax deferrals, a $1 billion Working for NSW fund, and bringing forward capital works to bring major relief to our sector,” he said.
Mr Zimmerman praised the NSW government for ensuring retailers could follow a simple application process to access the Small Business Support Fund and delivery a prompt injection of cash to eligible businesses.
“One of the biggest issues facing small retailers is the heavy stress upon small business owners; a simple application process provides relief to those struggling to adapt to mountains of information and new regulations,” Mr Zimmerman said.
Mr Zimmerman reiterated his call for the public not to panic over Coronavirus, urging consumers to support their local businesses which were keeping their doors open and finding new ways to do business amid the pandemic.
“Now more than ever, we need the public to support the livelihoods of their fellow Australians however they can and keep businesses open. Today’s package announced by Gladys Berijiklian and her government will soften the blow of Coronavirus on many retailers, making a big difference to the lives of many NSW families,” Mr Zimmerman concluded.