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The Victorian Government’s plans to release a $3 billion support package to businesses has been met with apprehension from business owners.
On Sunday evening, Premier Daniel Andrews’ announced that the program of support will help businesses preserve jobs and survive the current crisis.
“It is an unprecedented set of challenges that business face,” Premier Andrews said.
“[This] is without any shadow of a doubt, the biggest package of business support in the history of this state, and it needs to be unprecedented in nature.”
However, small businesses in Melbourne’s CBD say the package won’t be enough to keep businesses afloat in the long term.
Justin O’Donnell, the Associate Chairperson of the Chapel Street Precinct, represents 2220 of Victorian small businesses and has said: “The new funding will take a little dent out of the damage, but the only thing that’s going to fix it permanently is reopening and getting the economy running again.”
“The announcement of the grants has been met with a sigh of relief, however it is not going to be enough to cover the debt of these businesses.”
Since March, Mr O’Donnell has seen over 15 of the Chapel Street businesses shut down entirely, due to the lockdown Melbourne has endured twice now. He anticipates further closures if businesses are kept in lockdown for much longer.
“The funding and the grants will take a little dent out of it, but the only thing that’s going to fix it is reopening and getting the economy running again”
“We need to be smarter with how we operate under COVID. The Government needs to trust businesses to manage COVID in a safe way.”
“During the last lifting of lockdown we saw many of our businesses be very safe with their customers. We need the government to trust us to manage COVID in a responsible way, now just keep shutting the economy down.
‘We understand they had to get the numbers under control, but moving forward we can’t just keep going in and out of lockdowns.”
Two Words. Support Local.
Mr O’Donnell and the Chapel St Precinct have begun the Two Words. Support Local campaign to help support their local businesses.
Research from Allianz Australia has shown that 63 per cent of consumers say they are more inclined to buy products and services in their local neighbourhood, and Two Words. Support Local has been created to encourage this.
Read more about the campaign here.