Return to lockdown will mean end for some businesses and jobs

Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry

Victorian businesses will suffer, and some will permanently close, with the reintroduction of stage three restrictions across Melbourne, surrounding metropolitan areas and parts of regional Victoria.

Victoria is in a position no one wanted it to be in. It is vital that we get this outbreak under control for the sake of the long-term future of the Victorian economy and the rest of Australia.

Businesses in metropolitan areas that have only just reopened and started to trade again will now be forced to either close or return to the reduced operations they had in place before restrictions were eased.

Many of these businesses were already desperate and this will be a tipping point for them.

The Victorian Chamber stands ready to support metropolitan businesses as they face a second lockdown for six weeks following the Covid-19 outbreak.

We are pleased that the bubble of restrictions is confined primarily to metropolitan areas, as we have been calling for regional Victoria to be able to get back up and running where there are no cases of the virus.

The Premier’s indication that restrictions will be eased further in areas of regional Victoria with no cases is a small piece of good news that will benefit regional communities.

To be attributed to Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry Chief Executive Paul Guerra:

“Melbourne businesses and workers will once again be asked to bear the brunt of the Covid-19 crisis, and we know this will be the final straw for some.

“Successfully managing the health crisis in Victoria is vital to Australia’s success in safeguarding against Covid-19, but the business and jobs crisis has just deepened from these necessary actions.

“Last week our position on JobKeeper was for it to be tailored to specific sectors and refined. Victoria is now months behind other states in recovery and the Victorian Chamber believes JobKeeper should be extended for a period of a least two months to give our businesses the runway they need to get up and running before the scheme ends. We are also working with the State Government on additional support measures for this upcoming period.

“We support the return to lockdown because there is no alternative. Governments and the entire community must do more now to get Victoria in a position to be able to reopen fully.

“The Victorian Government was excellent in signposting major changes during the first wave of coronavirus and we need that now as we return to these restrictions.

“The Victorian Chamber stands ready to help any business affected by the shutdowns and invites them to contact us to access support.”

/Public Release.