The National Retail Association (NRA) has said that the two-week lockdown extension across large parts of NSW justifies the business support package, with the full cost now set to hit $5 billion over five weeks.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced the current lockdown will continue for at least another fortnight until 11:59pm on Friday, July 30.

NRA CEO Dominique Lamb said that affected NSW retailers are losing a combined total of $1 billion for each week of lockdown, thereby vindicating the support package from the state and federal governments.

“When prolonged lockdowns are needed to contain COVID outbreaks, then businesses need corresponding support to survive,” Lamb said.

“NSW retailers are very appreciative that the state and federal governments cooperated to announce a relief package in excess of $5 billion yesterday. While our affected members would prefer not to be in this position to begin with, it does provide assistance that will help many keep their heads above water for the time being.

“Each week this lockdown continues affected retailers lose a combined $1 billion in sales. Even if restrictions are lifted on July 30, we’re still looking at an accumulated hit of $5 billion plus consumer confidence does not rebound overnight.”

Lamb also said that further assistance would be required if the NSW lockdown continues beyond 30 July.

“The Greater Sydney region is the biggest economic centre in the country. Any impact to this area with regards to business or jobs losses is bound to have a domino effect across the country.

“Until restrictions in these areas can be lifted both the state and federal governments need to closely monitor the economic fallout. This absolutely means that further business assistance may be needed.”

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