Australia Perth small businesses reel from COVID-19 lockdown without JobKeeper safeguard

01:50  28 april  2021
01:50  28 april  2021 Source:   msn.com

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Andrei is just one business owner who has totally upended operations because of the coronavirus lockdown . He owns a chain of six restaurants, focusing on food from sustainable sources. EasyJet has said it is considering keeping the middle seat on its planes empty when it resumes flights. London-based Wizz Air has floated the idea of providing protective gear for passengers. However, the crisis hasn't deterred one small travel firm. Travel Curious, a London-based tour company, was set up just 12 months ago.

AMA President says Perth COVID - 19 lockdown is 'necessary'. That meant he spent up to five days in the community while infectious. During his post-quarantine time in Perth the man stayed with a woman with two children in the city's south — she also returned a rapid result positive COVID test on Friday. "They've let people escape from [ Perth ] last night down to Margaret River for the weekend and yet we have to go back and go into detention. "So those people who've gone away for the weekend are not going to be penalised. "If [the Northern Territory was] going to put detention in, why didn't they do it on

a man holding a phone: Fitness club owner Michael Colley said he does not know if he will be able to pay his staff this week. (ABC News: James Carmody) © Provided by ABC Business Fitness club owner Michael Colley said he does not know if he will be able to pay his staff this week. (ABC News: James Carmody)

Michael Colley is weighing up whether he can pay staff at his Perth health and fitness centres this week after he was forced to shut because of ongoing COVID-19 restrictions.

"As a business owner what do I do? Do I pay my staff and keep that loyalty happening? Or do I say well, hang on a minute, I can't," Mr Colley said.

He is among the thousands of Perth business owners hit hard by the latest COVID-19 lockdown, this time without the protections of JobKeeper and rental moratoriums.

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  Perth's snap lockdown sparks border closures across Australia Perth has been effectively cut off from New Zealand and much of Australia as health authorities across two states rush to trace a hotel quarantine COVID-19 clusters.Perth has been effectively cut off from New Zealand and much of Australia as health authorities across two states rush to trace a hotel quarantine COVID-19 cluster.

Small business services. The Perth metropolitan area and the Peel and South West regions are moving to a 5-day lockdown effective at 6pm The lockdown has been introduced due to the detection of a positive COVID - 19 case in a hotel quarantine worker.

Perth residents will find out later on Monday whether a snap three-day lockdown will end at midnight. Pictured are masked residents walking along Cottesloe Beach on Sunday. 'Why was patient zero in Perth 's latest coronavirus outbreak allowed to return from India after being given an exemption to More than 134,758 Australian citizens and permanent residents have been given exemptions to leave Australia's border since the start of the pandemic in early 2020. Mr McGowan, who shut down the state on Friday night over just two local Covid - 19 cases, has warned the rules could even be strengthened

Mr Colley estimated his business, The Reboot Collective, has lost up to $14,000 in the past week.

And the debts keep rising.

Even though the three-day lockdown is over, the financial pain continues for him because gyms and other indoor fitness venues have to remain closed during the four-day post-lockdown transition.

"Outside of approaching individual landlords there's no technical code of conduct around COVID-19, we are out of that timeframe," he said.

"And the banks – they are what they are – and they're saying that payments are due."

Mr Colley's business was not the only Perth gym doing it tough in the wake of the lockdown.

"We are painted with a very bad brush," said Barrie Elvish, the head of Health and fitness industry association Fitness Australia.

One new COVID case on first day of Perth lockdown

  One new COVID case on first day of Perth lockdown Western Australia has recorded one new local case of COVID-19 on the first day of a snap lockdown in metropolitan Perth and the Peel region. © (AAP Image/Richard Wainwright) WA Premier Mark McGowan speaks at a press conference in Perth, Saturday, April 24, 2021. Metropolitan Perth and the Peel region went into a three-day lockdown from midnight on Friday after a hotel quarantine outbreak led to community transmission. The case was confirmed by WA Health as a person who visited one of the venues also visited by the positive Victorian case who spent five days travelling Perth.

Some small businesses are staying afloat by changing their operations. But others forced to close altogether don't know how long they can last. Many are unsure if government relief will help them ride out the storm. "One day I'll be able to tell him, 'Son, when you were a baby, the whole world shut down ,'" he says. While many restaurants and cafes have shifted to takeaway and delivery meals, Mr Wolkowinski says this is not suitable for his business . Mr Wolkowinski's business has moved online amid the crisis caused by the COVID - 19 pandemic.

News of Perth and Peel's snap three-day lockdown has forced the other states and territories into action — here's what it means for your travel plans. Effective immediately, Queensland health authorities will require anyone who has been in Perth or Peel on or since April 17 to take a COVID - 19 test and go into mandatory quarantine until 2:00am Tuesday, April 27. Masks must be worn if people need to go out to get essential goods, receive health care or to make end-of-life visits, if allowed by the facility.

"The government and health departments are operating on old, outdated perceptions.

"Gyms have gone well and truly above and beyond to provide a safe and hygienic environment for their clients."

Scepticism over $70 million lockdown bill

Treasury has estimated the cost of the three-day lockdown was $70 million.

But the state's peak business group is sceptical, and believed it was in fact much higher.

"I'd love to the see assumptions that underpin that estimate," Chamber of Commerce and Industry chief economist Aaron Morey said.

"Certainly we'd expect those losses to be much higher."

Feedback from individual small businesses across the Perth and Peel regions to the CCI put the losses at tens of thousands of dollars each.

The chamber wants the state government to use part of its $3.1 billion budget surplus to compensate businesses.

Mr Morey accepted health advice dictated a certain response to COVID-19 outbreaks, including lockdowns.

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Coronavirus ( COVID - 19 ). Work and financial support during coronavirus. Updated the guidance to clarify eligibility conditions for Universal Credit and New Style Jobseeker's Allowance and to add Pension Credit as a benefit that can be claimed if you've lost your job .

COVID - 19 is having a material impact on a number of entities and proving to be a fast-evolving challenge to business continuity. As listed entities navigate the issues and challenges at this time, they should, as always, diligently act to mitigate the risks of insider trading, which may be enhanced in this dynamic and uncertain environment. In the context of COVID - 19 , this may involve reinforcing trading policies; considering closed and black-out periods for trading; controlling dissemination of information internally; and ensuring relevant information is publicly announced at the appropriate time

"But at the same time those businesses expect to be compensated for bearing the financial risk on behalf of society," he said.

"It's these small businesses that are at the coal face, they are bearing the costs and burden on behalf of society.

"Those impacts are very acute, they're very deep for many businesses and we'd like to see them fairly compensated."

No revenue top-ups on the cards

Premier Mark McGowan has ruled out any financial compensation based on revenue lost over the lockdown period, saying he was sympathetic but it would be very complex to administer and too expensive.

The state opposition labelled that a "cop out."

"This government is sitting on a windfall of iron ore royalties that has already paid for its COVID response to date, and the money continues to roll in," opposition treasury spokesman Steve Thomas said.

Mr McGowan said the state's economy was very successful and the best thing to do was to fully re-open so businesses could make money again.

Mr Morey said the strength of the economy would be "cold comfort" to many of those small businesses which have suffered significant losses over the weekend and extending into this week.

Patient who plunged Perth into lockdown permitted to fly to India

  Patient who plunged Perth into lockdown permitted to fly to India It's understood the infected man flew from Perth to India on December 12 and returned to the city with his new bride on April 10 before tested positive at the Mercure hotel three days later.Public outrage is growing over the decision to allow the newlywed groom and his bride back into Australia from India, where more than 300,000 new cases are being recorded every day.

Mr Colley was not optimistic.

His business was just starting to claw its way back financially following the impact of the first lockdown.

"We're not having a chance to bounce back," he said.

"It's hard enough back-paying rent and loans from when businesses were really struggling."

The government will look at other measures to support businesses, such as help paying electricity bills.

"Last time I got a $500 credit on my power bill, but I had made a $10,000 loss," Mr Colley said.

After days of confusion, Mr Colley's gym will resume offering some small outdoor fitness classes from today.

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