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Huge lockdown losses: Regional businesses left out in the cold

Oliver Peterson
Article image for Huge lockdown losses: Regional businesses left out in the cold

Small businesses in Perth and Peel that were impacted by the recent ANZAC day lockdown will be able to apply for $2000 grants. However, regional business that suffered last minute cancellations will not be eligible for the compensation.

The Small Business Lockdown Assistance Grants program is estimated to cost $31.8 million and will support an estimated 15,000 businesses across a number of sectors including hospitality and accommodation.

Premier Mark McGowan said the government needs to concentrate on the area where the lockdown took place.

But some regional business owners say they have perishable products just like hospitality businesses and they also suffered huge losses. While they could still operate as normal, customers who had been Perth/Peel could no longer travel to other WA regions.

Owner of Live Ningaloo Sonia Beckwith told Oliver Peterson April was a difficult month for trading when the lockdown caused people to cancel their trips beyond the initial three days.

“We ended up having to deal with between $17-$20,000 in cancellations on this lockdown.

“And then about the same amount again with the cyclone when it came earlier in April.”

Ms Beckwith said they don’t just want handouts, but snap borders arrangements makes it difficult. Although today’s news WA won’t be shutting its border with NSW is “encouraging.”

“We are encouraged by the new model of the hot spot lockdown method,” she said.

“We hope that continues.”

Press PLAY to hear more:

Minister for Small Business, Reece Whitby said the support is about helping the businesses where the lockdown applied.

“We can never recompense the businesses for the full impact,” he said.

Within a few hours of the grant being open for applications, Minister Whitby said there’s been over 1,100 businesses apply already.

Press PLAY to hear Minister Whitby defend the compensation scheme:

(Photo Credit: Live Ningaloo/Facebook)

Oliver Peterson
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