CCIQ calling for COVID-19 Hotspot Recovery package to support small business in lockdown
Queensland businesses forced to close in the state’s third lockdown this year need a dedicated COVID-19 Hotspot Recovery package commitment to ensure they are able to get back to business as soon as possible.
CCIQ is again calling for payments of up to $25,000 for affected businesses to cover loss of stock and trade and support the reinstatement of business operations after the package was first proposed during the March greater Brisbane lockdown.
Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland policy and advocacy general manager Amanda Rohan said unpredicted lockdowns and restricted business activity would inevitably create challenges for businesses including significant long-term recovery issues.
Ms Rohan said businesses needed targeted support to cover their losses and give certainty during a lockdown, similar to support already provided to COVID-impacted businesses in Victoria and Western Australia.
“This is the third lockdown for Queensland businesses and the second without a support package in place after JobKeeper ended,” Ms Rohan said.
“We know the immediacy of a snap lockdown creates significant operational issues for businesses forced to close, and can take a significant amount of time for businesses to recoup or in some cases even maintain an ability to stay in business.”
A survey of businesses during Queensland’s last lockdown in March showed average expected business losses from a three-day lockdown could amount to $65,000 for medium sized businesses.
Even smaller businesses expected a three-day lock down could cost them on average $12,000 to $58,000.
“Half of those surveyed called for a nationally consistent framework to support business planning and certainty, while nine in 10 businesses expected a loss of revenue due to booking cancellations and ongoing implications on consumer confidence to impact their revenue,” Ms Rohan said.
“We’re calling on Minister for Employment and Small Business and Minister for Training and Skills Development Di Farmer to support business and the proposed package which is aimed at providing a safety net for businesses as well as certainty and support to continue.
“The COVID-19 Hotspot Recovery package will also create an opportunity to keep businesses open where able and maintain jobs, plus to support hotspot declared areas to return to business as usual operations after a period of restricted business activity.
“There also needs to a focus on cushioning the potential economic impact of a hotspot from affecting broader regional and state wide supply chains, which the proposed recovery package can achieve.”
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