7 July 2021

The extension of the Greater Sydney lockdown by a further week is a crushing blow for Illawarra business owners and their employees, according to the region’s peak business organisation, Business Illawarra.

The Premier has formally announced the lockdown will be extended until midnight on 16 July, and again Wollongong and Shellharbour local government areas will be included as they are currently defined as part of Greater Sydney within the health orders.

“While the NSW Government has always balanced the health and economic outcomes of this pandemic, there’s no hiding that this will be a huge blow for local business, big and small, across the Illawarra,” said Business Illawarra Executive Director, Adam Zarth.

“An initial analysis of Business NSW’s statewide survey data shows that 48% of those surveyed believe the revenue impact of this current two-week lockdown is already somewhat equivalent to the revenue impact of two months after the first major lockdown last year and this time around there’s no JobKeeper to help cushion the fall,” said Mr Zarth.

“Concerningly, around one in five businesses say they only have enough cashflow to get them through the next month of operations – so an extended lockdown will see businesses close down, and unlikely to reopen.”

“That will have a huge impact on our society – not only in the loss of jobs but the mental health of those business owners and their employees who’ve dedicated their lives to their business.”

“Balancing the health and economic pressures of this pandemic is a very difficult assignment for the Government, and business understands the importance of community safety above all else.” 

“There is going to be extra pressure placed on business owners next week with employees needing to supervise children who are learning from home, so at a time when they are doing it tough, they’ll have to be even more accommodating which adds even more pressure.”

“It’s more important than ever that as a community we do the right thing when it comes to obeying the rules, always check in and out with QR codes, and get vaccinated when possible,” Mr Zarth said.