Various members and stakeholders of COSBOA and the small business community held a crisis meeting in Canberra today to discuss a response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) for and from the small business community.
Peter Strong, CEO of COSBOA, said today “this was a compelling group of people who between them have a reach to over 1 million small business people. The meeting investigated various scenarios that may impact Australian small businesses. This included scenarios where a high level of illness creates a shortage of workers; where geographic areas are impacted heavily for short periods, creating low trade and poor consumer activity with a resulting lack of business and loss of jobs across that small economy; where the forced closure of public transport creates a crisis for small business; and where employees and/or business owners are forced into quarantine, affecting the viability of the business."
Key messages from the meeting are included in the attached communique.
Mr Strong added “we all agreed that this is a problem that is not just for government to confront. All business - big, medium and small - must take action where necessary and all governments - federal, state and local - have to also take their full share of responsibility. The participants expressed confidence in our members and in our governments to respond as necessary. We do not expect a perfect response to a disease of such contagion, but people should be confident that the business community will work closely with government to manage impacts and the economy."
Participants came from sectors including newsagents, hairdressing, pharmacy, the professions, accountants, traditional medicine, retail, financial services, sole traders and service stations. There were also participants and observers from the Australian Banking Association.
Read the communiqué here.