‘We were ready for reopening’: WA businesses

WA businesses were ready for the now-abandoned February 5 reopening of the State’s borders, a CCIWA survey has revealed, with 73 per cent of businesses indicating they are sufficiently prepared.

The snap survey, carried out in the 24 hours prior to the cancellation of WA’s reopening, found just 10 per cent of businesses felt they were “not prepared” for the border transition.

Despite being prepared for the border to reopen, respondents said their biggest concern was uncertainty over border rules and testing and isolation protocols (87 per cent).

Businesses in health care and social assistance (86 per cent), manufacturing (75 per cent) and cafes, pubs and bars (80 per cent) indicated they are highly impacted by the uncertainty.

“Since the survey was released that uncertainty has only increased, with no date currently set for Western Australia’s reopening to the world,” says CCIWA Chief Economist Aaron Morey.

See the full survey results here.

The 372 respondents also confirmed challenges of: access to workers (82 per cent), wage pressures (82 per cent), and supply chain disruptions (72 per cent) and rising input costs (71 per cent).

“Nearly two-thirds of respondents expect these issues will intensify as Omicron spreads,” said Morey.

Indeed, half of all survey respondents, and nearly two-thirds of small businesses, are expecting cash-flow to worsen as Omicron spreads.

Preparing for COVID in WA

To prepare for the presence of COVID in WA, most WA businesses plan to shift to a hybrid model of office and remote work (57 per cent), with 55 per cent to continue working from the office and 11 peer cent to shift entirely to remote working.

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Meanwhile, the small businesses identifed they need help from Government to acquire and fund rapid antigen tests (77 per cent), and financial grants if they must close due to isolation rules or revenue losses (61 per cent).

“While WA’s reopening has been delayed, the spread of Omicron in Western Australia is assured,” said Morey. “To prepare for this inevitability, CCIWA has recommended that the Government use the time it has to establish a range of support measures for the business community.

“CCIWA is calling on the State Government to provide financial assistance to businesses impacted both by the delayed border reopening, and the inevitable spread of COVID-19 within the community. We are also calling on the Government to assist businesses to acquire and fund purchase of rapid antigen tests.”

For general advice on your individual situation call CCIWA’s Employee Relations Advice Centre on (08) 9365 7660 or via advice@cciwa.com.  

For legal advice specific to your situation, contact our team of Workplace Relations lawyers on (08) 9365 7746 or via BusinessLawWA@cciwa.com. 

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