Albany Chamber of Commerce and Industry warns of huge job losses after new COVID-19 restrictions

Albany Advertiser
ACCI's chief executive officer Mark Forrest has left the position after a short tenure.
Camera IconACCI's chief executive officer Mark Forrest has left the position after a short tenure. Credit: Laurie Benson Albany Advertiser

The Albany Chamber of Commerce and Industry has published an open letter querying the latest COVID-19 social restrictions.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced today that indoor gatherings of under 100 people would be restricted to one person per four square metres.

The ACCI says it has spoken to 15 of its food, accommodation and small retail businesses in the wake of the PM’s announcement.

It expects that eight of the 15 businesses could close their doors next week, causing more than 160 job losses.

One restaurant has already closed its doors.

Here is the open letter from ACCI president David Steytler:

The Albany Chamber of Commerce and Industry supports the need for restrictions to protect the community from COVID-19, as a matter of priority.

Businesses owners in the community will no doubt make every effort to work with staff to innovate and remain operational and keep the community safe.

The rule of 1 person per 4 square meters in an enclosed space is being proposed across the nation to reduce the risk of transmissions.

The Chamber is not saying that the decision is unnecessary.

The Chamber asks whether the proposed immediate application of this rule across the nation strikes the right balance?

Does it protect Australians from high rates of transmission as well as the significant impact on the community where the locational risk may in fact not be the same at this point in time?

The World Health Organisation maps show clusters emerge around cases that have started in densely populated areas with highly mobile populations that have a heavy reliance on public transport.

These places have not all had the information we have today.

The Chamber welcomes a second Federal stimulus response, in particular the publicly proposed wage and rental relief and cash for affected workers.

It sees a need to expedite the timeframes whereby families and businesses can access current supports.

This could assist the health and well-being of many families that own, or are working in, small businesses facing a potentially lengthy period of lost revenue.

The Chamber welcomes the response from lenders to extend supportive repayment arrangements and access to credit.

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