Canberra Business Chamber welcome the decision by the ACT Government to bring forward the easing of restrictions to this Friday. This would bring the ACT to baseline restrictions which is expected to stay over Christmas and reviewed in late January 2022. Here is a summary of the changes.
“There will be a lot of happy ACT businesses this morning,” said Chamber CEO Graham Catt. “For many these changes will be their first chance to operate profitably since Canberra first entered a one-week lockdown back in August, and some of them have been dealing with major hits to their businesses since late 2019.”
Mr Catt said that once double dose vaccination rates hit 90% and moved rapidly to 95%, some businesses and their workers had begun to question the need for restrictions.
“There has been a growing sense from the business community that we all worked so hard as a community to achieve these world vaccination targets, but where are the rewards? So, as we pass 95% vaccination rates and head towards 99%, businesses will be pleased to see the government take a significant step forward in our transition to a Covid normal economy. It makes good sense, aligns us with businesses in NSW and will help grow business and consumer confidence in the territory.”
“While it’s pleasing that more businesses impacted by the lockdown will be able to open and get back to something resembling normal trading,” said Mr Catt, “it’s important for the community and the government to remember that it has been and still is really tough for our local small businesses.
“We can’t just say ‘lockdown’s over, it’s all good.’ Small businesses are still dealing with restrictions, they’ve built up debt, they’ve lost stock. Many are only making a profit for the first time in months, and only a percentage of what they’d normally take at this time of the year. And while we can see solid consumer demand for some good and services, this isn’t the case for everyone.”
“There are so many small local businesses with owners under enormous stress and they need all the support they get. That includes financial support from government, and locals buying local, especially in the lead up to Christmas.”
“With more freedoms, it is important that we take the opportunity to support our local businesses. Every dollar we spend with a local business helps business owners, employees and families, creates jobs and supports the whole ACT economy.”
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