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Canberra Today 11°/15° | Saturday, September 25, 2021 | Digital Edition | Crossword & Sudoku

Canberra’s small business needs better help

Civic deserted in lockdown.

“CityNews” managing director JAMES ANDERSON reflects on the ongoing purgatory that is the now-extended covid lockdown in the ACT.

I WROTE three weeks ago bemoaning the level of government support for small business in this much-worse lockdown, a lockdown now extended by another four weeks in the ACT. 

James Anderson.

All small businesses operate in a reasonably similar way; we all work around cash flow and the continuing responsibilities of paying staff, rent, loans and overheads first, then hopefully have something left over. 

During the covid purgatory and in particular lockdown-impacted trading, the stress driven by a drastic and immediate fall in revenue makes things so much harder. It means fewer hours to offer staff, it means absorbing their tasks and it means working harder. 

Last year government support was fantastic and we were able to keep all our staff employed and safe, and still keep publishing.  

While we are grateful for the help this year, the initial $20,000 of business support might sound impressive, but in reality will drive radically different outcomes for businesses based on their size and number of employees. 

We are seeing sole traders forced to choose between their business and their mortgage. We are seeing staff sitting at home while receiving government support when, in many cases, there is plenty of work to be done. It is all the more frustrating as we have a successful blueprint from last year that is not being utilised.

Often, policy makers and politicians don’t understand small business because they have never worked in a business that has to drive revenue to survive, they have been in jobs where their salary rolls in every fortnight, no matter what their department is achieving or what the local economy is doing. 

This is not an Andrew Barr problem alone, it is also shared by our five federal members of parliament, our national cabinet and our federal cabinet to do more as this country stutters into a recession.

For business, this is much worse than last year

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Thank you,

Ian Meikle, editor

James Anderson

James Anderson

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