23 March, 2021
Shortly, business owners will be holding their breath as JobKeeper comes to an end and the current level of JobSeeker plummets, taking much needed funds out of local economies. While some businesses are struggling to find staff and are requesting that the student visa cap of 20 hours be lifted, others face the prospect of closing their doors as the much-needed safety net of JobKeeper disappears. In Warringah, we currently have over 4,000 businesses on JobKeeper. Many will likely shift some of their workforce over to JobSeeker at the end of the month. This drop-off in support places people in Warringah in a very difficult position.
For businesses on the Northern Beaches, this comes on top of the extra three weeks of hardship experienced during the lockdown ordered over the Christmas and new year period. For many businesses, particularly in the popular tourist area of Manly, 60 per cent of their annual revenue is generated during the mid-December to early January trading period. That period was lost, and there is no support coming from this government. To compound the problem, locals are now being encouraged to spend their recreation dollars away from the area, through the offer of cheap airfares to interstate locations. The government, by not including capital cities in the list of destinations for discounted airfares, is essentially failing to acknowledge that hospitality and tourism businesses in places like Manly are hurting and need support.