Local businesses need support during outbreak

With Newcastle’s COVID-19 outbreak forcing businesses across the city to unexpectedly
shut their doors urgent financial support is needed, said State Member Tim Crakanthorp.
Several superspreader events in the city put thousands of people into isolation with a
devastating knock-on effect, which saw local businesses forced to shut their doors due
to lack of available staff.
This, compounded with patrons cancelling bookings or limiting their movements due to
concerns about acquiring COVID-19, has seen some venues weekly turnover plummet
by up to 90 per cent.
The Young Street Hotel in Carrington is just one impacted businesses, reporting takings of just $8700
last week compared to $82,000 the week before. The venue faced booking
cancellations worth a total of 880 people.
Mr Crakanthorp said that the NSW Government’s plan for opening up the economy had
completely backfired.
“Newcastle has been guinea pig for opening up the economy, and it’s very quickly
turned out to be the test case for what governments should not do,” he said.
“Both NSW Health and Hunter New England Health have recommended people
postpone social gatherings and locals have embraced that advice.
“Health needs to be the priority, but local businesses cannot be left to take the financial
hit each time there is a major outbreak.
“This should be the busiest time of year in retail and hospitality, but businesses are
being forced to close their doors through absolutely no fault of their own.
“After the year they have had many businesses are on the brink, and without urgent
support this may be the final nail in the coffin.”
The NSW Government’s Summer Holiday Stock Guarantee only applies if a Public
Health Order is enacted.

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