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Small-business council welcomes support but says more is needed

The Council of Small Business Organisations Australia said the new support measures introduced by NSW are good news for small businesses but other states are still unsure of what the future holds.

Small-business council welcomes support but says more is needed
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  • Keeli Cambourne
  • October 14, 2021
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NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet on Tuesday (12 October) announced small businesses in NSW will be able to claim a rebate of $2,000 for certain government fees, including tolls as well as a stock guarantee to claim up to $20,000 for loss of perishable stock due to future lockdowns.

“These support measures are good news for small businesses in NSW. The feedback we hear is that every cent of support counts,” COSBOA chief executive Alexi Boyd said.

“The loss of perishable stock is one of the biggest financial blows associated with short lockdowns that occur with little-to-no notice. This fear can make businesses reluctant to invest or to open fully.

“This stock guarantee will go a long way in giving small business owners in food and hospitality the confidence they need to order the stock they require to open fully during the Christmas – New Year period. It will also be helpful to other small businesses in the food supply chain, including farmers, manufacturers, truck drivers, wholesalers, and distributors.”

However, Ms Boyd said the support is “only one piece of the puzzle” and that Victoria and the ACT have not yet announced targeted, post-reopening support.

“We don’t know what the other five states and territories will do to support small businesses in the reopening phase,” he said.

“We are still hearing from our members that small businesses are struggling to find staff and that it’s impeding on their ability to reopen. That problem needs to be addressed. The reopening of international borders to students and targeted migration strategies will ease this; however, geographically based lockdowns, furloughing of staff at an exposure site, and TTIQ requirements are still causing concern.

One thing we’ve learned over the past nearly two years is that we often underestimate the knock-on effects of COVID restrictions. It’s not just the customer-facing businesses you see on the main street who get hit. We need to be willing to change and expand the support on offer in this evolving situation.”

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