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Sydney Lockdown Extension An Extra $1bn Hit To Retail

The Australian Retailers Association has warned that the extension of Sydney’s stay-at-home orders will add another billion dollars to the price tag already confronting NSW retail.

The extension, announced yesterday by Premier Gladys Berejiklian, will see Sydney stay in lockdown for an extra week until Friday, July 16. Paul Zahra, CEO of the ARA, has called for more support for affected businesses, which he says were already set to lose $2 billion between them over the initial two weeks.

“This lockdown is now set to cost around $3 billion in lost retail trade, which is just not sustainable without adequate support measures in place for businesses and their staff.

“We have grave concerns for smaller retailers in the CBD, who were already crippled by the ongoing Covid impacts before this latest outbreak, with low office populations and a lack of tourists contributing to sluggish trade throughout the pandemic,” he said.

According to Zahra, existing grants at both federal and state level are not enough.

“This is only available for people who live and work in hotspot areas and there are many more in regional areas of NSW that are missing out,” Mr Zahra said.

“Whilst we are grateful for the business support grants and payroll tax deferrals from the NSW Government, this doesn’t go far enough to compensate the downturn businesses will suffer during a three-week lockdown,” he said.

Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg yesterday rebuffed the pleas of NSW Treasurer Dominic Perottet for the return of JobKeeper.

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