The two-week stay-at-home order for Greater Sydney, is set to cause a $2 billion loss in retail trade.
Australian Retailers Association (ARA) CEO Paul Zahra says that while it’s a bitter blow for business, they appreciate the NSW Government’s advice.
“The Covid situation has evolved rapidly in recent days, and we’ve reached a point where the NSW Government has deemed an extension of the stay-at-home order is now the only solution to curb the growing case numbers in the community,” Mr Zahra explains.
“Whilst the NSW Government has done an admirable job keeping the state economy open throughout the pandemic, the latest outbreak is of great concern, and we respect today’s decision.
“However, we can’t ignore the fact that [the] announcement is a devastating blow for retailers, in particular small businesses who were already struggling due to the ongoing Covid impacts.”
Mr Zahra continues: “The restrictions will result in around $2 billion in lost retail trade. While some businesses can still open, with the consumer restrictions in place, there simply won’t be the usual number of people out shopping.
“The NSW Government has indicated there will be measures in place from the State and the Commonwealth to support businesses affected by the restrictions. We look forward to seeing those support measures available as soon as possible. Without a safety net like JobKeeper and with consumer confidence severely impacted, many small businesses will be pushed to breaking point.”
Mr Zahra concludes, “The vaccine rollout is critical to ensure we avoid further instances of lockdowns and restrictions.”