AHA (Vic) welcomes the Andrews government’s business support grants announced today (Sunday) for hotels and pubs throughout Victoria.
“We particularly welcome the cash grants to hotels and pubs of up to $30,000 per venue and the waiving of next year’s liquor licence fees,” said David Canny, President of AHA (Vic).
“We have been closed since March, so this is a most welcomed assistance package. The government is recognising our plight, but we call on them to rethink their roadmap to recovery.”
He also urged the government to ease the restrictions on country hotels and pubs, many of which were more than 100 kilometres from an active COVID case.
Mr Canny said the Association’s 1450 members and their 52,000 employees had been severely affected financially and mentally by the COVID-19 restrictions, along with Melbourne’s and the State’s international hospitality reputation.
“Many of our pubs and hotels are facing financial ruin – a debt cliff – through the disproportionate effects of the government’s Stage 4 restrictions. Their debt burden is rising daily and for many this is becoming unsustainable,” he said.
“We need to be allowed to reopen. There need to be trade-offs between lives affected and livelihoods lost. We have strong and proven plans for our industry to be COVIDSafe to operate and are ready to sit with government to allow us to implement them.”
Mr. Canny said the Association sought a fair, reasonable and co-operative platform for the industry which was in line with other sectors now operating in the retail environment.
“Many are more than 100 kilometres from any active COVID case,” he added.
“Their people are experienced, trained and have a long history in customer safety measures with patrons and know how to be COVIDSafe to Open.”
Mr. Canny reiterated the industry’s message to government that it was committed to working to the six (6) COVIDSafe principles to combat the introduction of the coronavirus into their premises. “We are COVIDSafe to open,” he said.