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    NSW support package welcomed by retail industry

    The National Retail Association (NRA) and the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) welcome the Federal and NSW government’s economic support package.

    However, it’s important that these packages are flown through quickly to those who need it most.

    NRA CEO Dominique Lamb says, “For each week large parts of NSW remain in lockdown, retailers in those areas are losing a combined $1 billion in sales.

    “Retailers understand that when Covid cases explode those restrictions such as lockdowns are needed to contain the situation. However, that also means that affected businesses require support so that they can stay afloat, and that everyday Australians don’t end up on the jobless scrap heap.”

    ARA CEO Paul Zahra adds, “We have a situation where many businesses are facing weeks of lost revenue, with no end in sight and some are preparing to close for good. Displaced workers are unsure how they’re going to pay their bills and rent. The economic support package has certainly come as a welcome relief. We’re into week three of this lockdown, and people and businesses up until now have been trying to survive without a proper safety net in place.”

    Mr Zahra continues, “The vaccination program is critical. It’s the only way we’ll see an end to these sorts of lockdowns and restrictions that are devastating businesses and livelihoods. The ARA is working closely with the Federal Government and other industry groups on solutions to expediate the vaccine rollout. The retail industry stands ready to support this effort in whatever way it can.”

    Eligible businesses will be able to access a new payment of between $1500 and $10,000 a week, but must demonstrate a 30% decline in turnover. The payment is also contingent on companies maintaining their current staffing levels.

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