The Australian Retailers Association (ARA) is welcoming the Victorian Government’s support package; however, it doesn’t come without concern.
While the $250.7 million business support package is a step in the right direction, the ARA says it doesn’t go far enough to cover the losses retailers will incur during the lockdown.
“The cost of the Victorian lockdown is mounting by the day, and while the State Government’s business support package is a small relief – it won’t fully offset the losses they’ll incur during the current seven-day shutdown,” ARA CEO Paul Zahra says.
“The support package is also quite narrow in nature, with retail businesses who can trade online not eligible for the one-off grants. The vast bulk of retail sales take place in stores, and online trading cannot make up for the losses they will suffer.
“There needs to be ongoing, targeted support from the States and the Commonwealth to help those businesses who are forced to close their doors through no fault of their own.
“The safety net of JobKeeper no longer exists and there are numerous small businesses that are at breaking point and face an uncertain future.”
Mr Zahra concludes, “The virus remains an ongoing threat – outbreaks can still occur, and future state-imposed lockdowns are a possibility. With that being the case, we need to ensure government lifelines remain in place.”