CANBERRA, AAP – Business is seeking further assistance from the federal government when Treasurer Josh Frydenberg hand downs the budget in May.
Business NSW chief executive Nola Watson says while last’s year delayed federal budget was about economy-wide support for industry, this year must be about longer-term certainty.
She said its most recent survey of business conditions across NSW found almost a quarter of firms believe they were at a high risk of failure when supports such as JobKeeper, tax relief, interest waivers and other measures end.
“This vulnerability will hang over the small business sector for much of the year and will need to be factored into decisions around when and how these measures are withdrawn,” Ms Watson said in a statement on Wednesday.
Business NSW supports the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s call to introduce a new program of wage subsidy support for businesses heavily impacted by government COVID-19 restrictions, such as those in the travel, tourism and hospitality sectors.
ACCI’s proposal includes $450 per week per employee if business turnover is down more than one-third, or $700 per week if turnover is down over two-thirds, relative to the same quarter in 2019.
“Many businesses are finding it impossible to plan past March,” Ms Watson said.
“The new package must provide longer-term certainty for businesses to plan for as long as restrictions are in place.”
Finance Minister Simon Birmingham said on Tuesday targeted support for industries will be based on data and evidence over coming months.
But he warned there will be lasting changes as a result of the pandemic and the government won’t be offering a helping hand to businesses that are no longer viable.