The national small business advocacy group has called for government leaders to introduce a ‘lockdown payment’ to help local businesses deal with lost profits as Victoria grapples with its fourth lockdown.
The Council of Small Business Organisations Australia (COSBOA) is urging the National Cabinet, made up of the Prime Minister and the State and Territory premiers and chief ministers, to introduce a financial assistance program to help businesses forced to go into COVID-19 lockdowns.
This should be modelled on a scheme New Zealand has in place, called the Resurgence Support Payment, which permits eligible businesses to apply for either $1,500 plus $400 per full-time worker or four times the business’ actual revenue fall during lockdown periods, whichever is of lesser value.
COSBOA chief Peter Strong accused Australia of falling behind our Kiwi counterparts and said the National Cabinet “have chosen to turn inwards and play politics”.
“We know that they will happen again. There’s no excuse for not having a nationally consistent business support payment ready to be activated when a lockdown is called.”
The seven-day ‘circuit-breaker’ lockdown will be Victoria’s fourth since the COVID-19 pandemic began in March last year.
From 11:59pm Thursday 27 May until 11:59pm Thursday 3 June, Victorian residents may not leave their homes unless it is for one of five reasons.