Support needed after March for government-restricted businesses

The Australian Chamber of Commerce & Industry has submitted a proposal to the Federal Government this week for a new financial support mechanism for businesses who continue to be significantly impacted by government restrictions, following the end of JobKeeper in March.

The proposal comes following in-depth consultation with member organisations across the country in response to the many businesses, particularly in tourism and events, who are facing a dire future after across-economy support ends.

“The most important thing governments can do to provide support for business is to address the uncertainty and disproportionality of restrictions, offer a pathway to reopen international travel, and roll out the vaccine effectively”, ACCI’s acting CEO Jenny Lambert said.

“In the meantime, it is only fair that businesses receive support to prevent them going under through no fault of their own.

“Our proposal is targeted specifically to those businesses who are struggling under the movement and gathering restrictions, including the ban on international travel, governments imposed in response to COVID-19.

“Airlines, airports, accommodation in the CBDs, travel agents and tour operators, event venues and performers are examples of businesses that are still deeply affected. So are their supply chains.

“It’s important to remember that when restrictions lift and we need more planes in the air, or venues to hold our events this year, we’ll need the businesses ready to go, with the skills and infrastructure to get back to work immediately.”

ACCI is proposing a two-tiered financial support package with turnover thresholds higher than the current JobKeeper scheme, recognising that many businesses are experiencing turnover impacts over two-thirds down.

“These businesses were highly successful prior to COVID and were responsible for Australia’s global competitive advantage in tourism, business events and major events – in other words we are preserving future jobs.”

Download ACCI’s proposal here.

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