COSBOA notes the launch of the Victorian Road Map out of COVID-19 lock downs released by Premier Andrews on Sunday.
COSBOA CEO Peter Strong said “all small business people want the community and workplaces to be safe and the COVID cases to drop and indeed disappear. This Road Map however is economically and socially reckless and will decrease cases but at what other human cost? COSBOA is concerned that small business individuals and families, as well as their employees, now face even more hardship and long-term health and economic impacts that could have been avoided by engaging in industry consultation.”
Mr Strong added “We have mentioned before the lack of consultation on the part of the Victorian Government. Now is the time to be constructive and come up with a plan to decrease COVID cases and at the same time minimise the damage to jobs, small business owners and their employees.”
Today, Monday 7 September, COSBOA convened an emergency meeting of its members to share thoughts and ideas. After expressing concern on the lack of consultation, it was agreed that the Victorian Government should set up an SME Recovery Panel to engage with small business representatives. One important activity for such a panel would be to design assistance measures for people exiting their business.
Mr Strong said “We know that some business people will have no choice but to close down their businesses. It’s just not realistic or feasible to try and stay in operation. There are however many costs associated with closing down, from on-going leases to paying the necessary entitlements to employees and negotiating the finalisation of various business contracts. The Victorian Government should take responsibility for this situation and provide financial assistance at least for rent to the affected people.”
Mr Strong added “COSBOA knows the value of consultation – we have been holding inclusive roundtables since the beginning of the pandemic and publishing meeting communiques every week.”
Mr Strong concluded “this isn’t only a dire health crisis; it’s an economic crisis and a social crisis. We need to work together to manage all three aspects of the crisis as well as the recovery phase. We can work together to be COVID Safe and get through this.”
Read the communique here: https://bit.ly/3m1dKtM