Tuesday 13 July 2021
The Australian Retailers Association (ARA) has welcomed the Federal and NSW Government’s economic support package for those affected by the extended lockdown in NSW but said it’s important these supports flow through quickly to those who need it most.
“It’s clear we will be living with Covid for some time and we are pleased to see a national approach to support measures for extended lockdowns. This will provide small businesses in particular with the confidence they need and will help alleviate some of the mental health pressures staff and business owners confront with extended lockdowns,” ARA CEO Paul Zahra said.
“We have a situation where many businesses are facing weeks of lost revenue, with no end in sight and some are preparing to close for good. Displaced workers are unsure how they’re going to pay their bills and rent. The economic support package has certainly come as a welcome relief. We’re into week three of this lockdown, and people and businesses up until now have been trying to survive without a proper safety net in place.
“One of the successful aspects of JobKeeper was keeping employees linked to their employers, and we’re pleased to see the return of this connection as part of today’s announcement – a necessary step to ensure business can get up and running swiftly when the lockdown is lifted.
“Lockdowns have a heavy social and economic cost. The lockdown in NSW is costing around a billion dollars a week in terms of lost retail trade. It’s also taking a toll on people’s health and wellbeing, and we are pleased to see the additional mental health supports.
“The vaccination program is critical. It’s the only way we’ll seen an end to these sorts of lockdowns and restrictions that are devastating businesses and livelihoods. The ARA is working closely with the Federal Government and other industry groups on solutions to expediate the vaccine rollout. The retail industry stands ready to support this effort in whatever way it can.”