Western Australian businesses have been handed a much needed $77 million support package by the state government. The funding announced by the McGowan Government aims to help businesses that were impacted by the delay of the states boarder re-opening which was postponed from the 5th February to the 3rd March.
The support package will be distributed amongst businesses such as; travel agents, tourism businesses and other organisations working in events and international education.
According to figures published by WA’s Tourism Council, tours, attractions and events in Perth have reported an 82 percent downturn, while their regional counterparts said business had dropped by 55 percent.
As part of the package, many businesses will be able to claim between $10,000 and $20,000 for costs they incurred in preparing for the cancelled re-opening date of Saturday 5th February, with an extra $50,000 on offer to cover the cost of refunding deposits from international and interstate cancellations.
Tourism Council chief executive Evan Hall was has spoke positively about the support package.
“It’s never going to cover the loss that these tourism businesses have suffered, but it will help particularly small businesses to keep going until we get an announcement on the border. It is about cash at a time when you have no cash and you’re deciding whether or not to shut up shop for good, or to wait until we get a border reopening and get tourism back into WA,” says Evan Hall.
Mr Hall is hoping that the money allocated via the support package will be enough to keep a large number of businesses that had already been struggling for the last two years afloat until the re-opening of the state’s border.
Jo Francis has the owner of Global Travel Solutions is pleased to see the sector recognised in the latest round of support.
“Was it enough money? Probably not, given that we haven’t had funding since September 2020. But am I grateful? Blood hell I am.We are eternally grateful that there is something and we just hope that long-term if these sort of things continue, that they’ll continue to help us,” says Jo Francis owner of Global Travel Solutions.
Ms. Francis said the support told the sector it was valued by the government. However, it did not solve the problem of $500,000 of credit sitting on her books from customers who have not been able to rebook since 2020.
“We were really at a crossroads. We probably to be honest needed twice as much, but I don’t want to sound ungrateful either,” says Jo Francis
She also said that open top of the financial toll of the border delay, it will be very difficult to rebuild the trust of frustrated travellers whose plans were thrown into disarray.
NSW Government Announces $1 Billion Support Package to Help Businesses Impacted by Omicron
As businesses across the country struggle to cope with the current wave of Omicron cases, the NSW government has announced a $1 billion support package to help the state fast track its economic recovery from the latest outbreak.
The support packages aim is to target businesses that currently have a turnover that’s less than $50 million and a 40 percent decline in turnover during the month of January 2022. The package will also provide support to assist businesses with purchasing rapid antigen tests.
The NSW Government will also provide $80 million to support the performing arts sector which has suffered significantly during the course of the pandemic.
Applications for the support package will open in mid-February and business that are eligible for the funding will be given a payment of 20 percent of their weekly payroll, up to $5,000 each week.
NSW Treasurer Matt Kean outlined that the past few months had been difficult for small businesses across the state but said the “comprehensive business package” would help them get “through to the other side”.
Mr. Kean also spoke about his disappointment in the lack of financial assistance provided by the federal government to help businesses during the current covid-19 omicron wave.
“I was hoping to make this announcement standing beside the Prime Minister today and the Treasurer Josh Frydenberg, but they’re not to be found. These are not just New South Wales businesses, they’re Australian businesses, Australians that pay their taxes to the Commonwealth government. So what we want to see is rather than the Commonwealth government stepping aside we want to see the Commonwealth government stepping in,” says NSW Treasurer Matt Kean.
Mr. Kean continued to outline that the money from the support package would be directed to “those parts of the economy that are really struggling”.
“Those businesses that ply their trade through face-to-face trading, things like hairdressers, nail salons, the tourist industry and also hospitality and bricks and mortar retail, “says Matt Kean.