Higher lockdown costs underpin call for increased support

CCIWA Chief Economist

Aaron Morey

The full impact of ‘Lockdown 3’ on Western Australia’s businesses and economy will amount to around $245 million, according to Chamber of Commerce and Industry WA (CCIWA) survey results released today.

The special rapid-fire survey shows an average expected financial impact of $26,864 per business from the four-day lockdown. For WA’s small businesses the average cost was $16,222, much higher than in April, when average costs were $8,057. This reflects the imposition of full lockdown restrictions during the working week.

The survey, with 458 responses, showed the sectors hardest-hit by reduced turnover and sales were food (94%), retail (92%), real estate (83%) and accommodation (82%). Regional businesses have not been spared either, with an average expected impact of $10,404 due to reduced tourism spending and booking cancellations.

The vast majority of business (62%) saw no reduction in their overheads, despite many being forced to close.

These results are clear and strong evidence of the need for a commensurate support scheme from the State Government support.

WA businesses were asked to nominate a fair amount of Government support to mitigate their losses. An average figure of $5,741 was nominated.

Assuming that partial restrictions end in line with the announcement yesterday, we are calling for a fair compensation package with the following features.

  • Businesses that declare lost turnover between 30–50% (or alternatively up to $5 000 in direct financial impacts) receive a $4,000 payment.
  • Businesses that declare lost turnover above 50% (or alternatively above $5 000 in direct financial impacts) receive a $6,000 payment.
  • The scheme should be open to regional businesses that have suffered booking cancellations and lost tourism expenditure.

For many Western Australians, a lockdown is a mere inconvenience. That’s for those lucky enough to still receive an income during lockdowns. For WA’s small businesses, lockdowns mean losing the income their families rely on.

It’s critical that WA fully supports small business owners who bear the financial burden on behalf of society, especially given the extraordinarily strong financial position of the State.

Lockdowns are supported by 68% of WA businesses, on the basis that they are necessary to protect society, and that the losses imposed will be mitigated through suitable Government assistance.

CCIWA has shared these important results to the State Government and looks forward to working together to ensure appropriate support for the latest lockdown.

You can read the full report on CCIWA’s rapid-fire survey – Impacts of the Snap Lockdown on WA Businesshere.:

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