Urgent COVID support needed for struggling retailers

Announcements this morning that both South Australia and Victoria will spend at least the next seven days in lockdown means urgent support needs to be provided to struggling retailers in both states.

For Victorians businesses it means an extension of the state’s fifth lockdown, while the South Australian Government opted for the measure following further growth in a COVID cluster.

NRA CEO Dominique Lamb said that further lockdowns will require further support to safeguard jobs.

“Each week Victoria goes into lockdown retailers across the state lose a combined $1 billion in sales,” Lamb said.

“Victorian small businesses have been hit harder than any other following five lockdowns in 16 months. Retailers across the state who have been forced to close or severely limit their business operations are going to need support or jobs will be lost.

“Add to the fact that Melbourne is one of Australia’s biggest economic centres and its clear the pain from further lockdowns can easily spread across the broader economy.”

Lamb said that South Australian retailers stood to lose $250 million after it was announced it too would enter a seven-day lockdown.

“Under the South Australian lockdown only essential businesses are permitted to remain open,” she said.

“The NRA’s early forecast is that this will see South Australian retailers lose a combined $250 million over the seven days.

“Even a short, sharp and successful lockdown can have a giant impact on businesses forced to close. Not only do they forgo revenue for the days they’re unable to trade, but reopening is not like flicking on a light switch – rosters need to be organised, stock needs to be ordered, and protocols need to be implemented.

“We urge South Australian shoppers to be patient and only purchase what they need. Supermarkets and grocery stores remain open under even the tightest level of restrictions.”

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