While the COVID-19 situation is evolving, so is its economic impact.
In Armidale, the effect has already been very severe on a number of businesses, particularly in relation to tourism, accommodation and hospitality. As the Federal Government has warned it is likely to get worse.
The Chamber is working at a number of levels.
Firstly, to inform members of government support as well as bank support. There is no point in us all wondering what financial support we can get as cash flow falls. Below are links to the Federal and NSW Government’s economic response to COVID-19:
We will also be organising Webinars to inform members and other businesses about these packages.
Secondly, as I mentioned in my last letter, we should be doing all that we can to support our local businesses with the purchasing power we have. This is as important today as it was last year in the drought. We will be implementing a “buy local” program in the near future.
Thirdly, advocating for the protection and assistance of businesses as well as employees who have been stood done or lost their jobs. Armidale Regional Council has called a meeting with business representatives to see what can be done to help businesses in the Armidale Region, both now and when we emerge from the virus. I will be attending on behalf of the Chamber.
Fourthly, providing updates to the existing health restrictions when they occur. Following is a link to the existing health restrictions from the NSW Department of Health.
A number of businesses have modified their business model and taken innovative steps to protect themselves. The most common way at present is offering a delivery service. We will be highlighting those businesses on our website as well as through social media as well as looking at other means of assisting them. We are acutely aware that not everyone is able to make changes and that the the tourism, accommodation and hospitality areas in particular are very badly affected by the health restrictions in relation to COVID-19.
Your thoughts on how assistance may be given would be appreciated. Please contact me by email. The office is presently unattended so please do not call it. I will be checking emails regularly.
Armidale Business Chamber
m. 0402 838 077