Illawarra's peak regional business body has joined the call for more support for local businesses as the COVID-19 lockdown continues indefinitely.
Business Illawarra has been talking to enterprises across the region and hearing how the extension of the lockdown is impacting them.
Executive director Adam Zarth said with no end date in sight, it is becoming increasingly clear existing support measures are insufficient.
Mr Zarth said businesses are reporting confusion and fatigue with the changing restrictions.
They have said new support measures and ongoing support and patronage from the wider community have provided a boost. But the time has come for the return of a JobKeeper-style support program.
Mr Zarth said there is a real need for measures to back capital intensive businesses and provide greater industrial relations flexibility.
"Each day this lockdown drags on and with no end in sight, it becomes increasingly clear existing support measures are insufficient," he said.
"We back the return of a JobKeeper-style support program that provides employers with the flexibility to redirect their staff to conduct other duties as they adapt their business models to suit the times."
"There also needs to be certainty for those businesses on a delayed payment cycle for their services.
"So if a business runs on a 60 day pay cycle, they will not be feeling the pinch now but in two months they will take that hit."
"There are other levers that also need to be looked at by governments at all levels, including waiving or deferring fees, rates, tolls and charges levied upon businesses locally."
"The wider community should keep up the great work supporting all local businesses and business people, whether that be by backing the diverse takeaway food and beverage options on offer, shopping with locals online or, importantly, reaching out to our friends in business with offers of help and a willing ear."
"It is highly concerning that when we surveyed businesses at the start of the lockdown around one in five businesses said they only have enough cashflow to get them through the next month of operations.
"We are now at the end of that month which means without further support we will see businesses close down, and those that do will be unlikely to reopen."
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