31 September 2021

The region’s peak business organisation, Business Illawarra, has welcomed today’s announcement that the NSW Government will continue a scaled back support scheme for businesses impacted by the COVID-19 lockdown after the Commonwealth’s support dries up.

The NSW Government will extend the Job Saver program to 30 November, with payments tapering to 15 per cent of payroll after the state reaches the 80 per cent vaccinated milestone around 18 or 25 October. At this time, Commonwealth support will cease. 

“We welcome this extension of support and it will be a relief for businesses to know that the NSW Government will keep doing its bit as we all prepare for reopening,” said Executive Director of Business Illawarra, Adam Zarth.

“This extension of state-funded JobSaver payments will go some way to providing a softer landing for many businesses across the state, but there are concerns among the business community that the Commonwealth’s move away from supporting economic recovery beyond lockdown will be a blow to others.”  

“We know there will be some businesses who won’t be able to snap back into action as readily as others, including those who are significantly impacted or unable to open due to the ongoing restrictions under the Public Health Orders and with travel restrictions between regions and closed state borders.”

“In these cases, unfortunately, this NSW-only support is likely to be insufficient for them.” Mr Zarth said.

The existing support package has worked to date as the two elements of the Commonwealth supporting employees with the disaster payments, and both Commonwealth and State governments supporting businesses with JobSaver, hit the mark in keeping businesses going.

“Unfortunately, some employers in industries heavily impacted by restrictions will be left with the difficult decisions around rostering and retaining employees given the prospect of softened support,” Mr Zarth said.

“Some businesses face losing key staff which reduces their capacity to be fully prepared for trade as normal, once the economy bounces back.”