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An easy-to-complete survey will guide government on how to assist Glen Innes businesses through a predicted downturn in economic output of over $50 million as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, with the potential loss of around 400 local jobs.
According to impact modelling prepared by regional data generator Remplan, retail and accommodation businesses in the Glen Innes Severn Shire Council (GISC) region may experience contractions in economic output of up to 60 per cent. Food and beverage services could possibly fare even worse, with up to 75pc reductions anticipated.
The team at Regional Development Australia Northern Inland (RDANI) has put out an urgent call for businesses to share their experiences of the pandemic and its impact on operations, staffing, incomes and more.
RDANI executive director Nathan Axelsson admitted that due to the unprecedented nature of the ongoing Coronavirus crisis, the organisation’s local knowledge is not enough to ensure businesses hit the ground running once restrictions are lifted.
“We want to communicate with the government with cold, hard facts and figures,” he said.
“We want to know if your business has kept trading, what the financial impact has been, what tough decisions you have had to make regarding your staff and more.
“The federal government is working to manage the constantly changing crisis as responsively as possible but it is up to you, our local businesspeople, to give them the benefit of your experience,” he said.
According to Mr Axelsson, RDANI is taking part in fortnightly teleconferences with Assistant Minister for Regional Development and Territories, Nola Marino, and senior government officials from the Departments of Regional Development and Treasury.
“The government is to be applauded for its efforts to get real feedback from regional Australia,” he said.
Impact on jobs and income
For GISC businesses, the anticipated downturn in economic output could result in the loss of around 385 local jobs, according to an impact report commissioned by the Glen Innes Highlands Economic Development team.
“From this direct contraction in the economy, flow-on supply-chain effects in terms of local purchases of goods and services are anticipated, and it is estimated that these indirect impacts would result in the loss of a further 48 jobs,” Remplan stated in the report.
Remplan also isolated the potential for local wages and salaries to reduce by around $17m.
Fifteen minutes of your time.
Mr Axelsson described the survey developed by RDANI staff as an efficient and thorough overview of the main issues facing businesses in the region.
“It is up to you, our local businesspeople, to give them the benefit of your experience.”
“Our Northern Inland NSW regional COVID-19 business impacts survey is comprehensive and should only take around fifteen minutes to complete,” he said.
“It is vital that we get as much information as possible to help shape our regional approach and the government’s assistance measures going forward.”
In addition to mapping direct impacts of the Coronavirus pandemic on the full spectrum of businesses, the survey includes questions about the uptake of various government financial support initiatives, and allows respondents to provide detailed feedback about their direct experiences of the crisis.
Businesspeople are encouraged to complete the survey via this link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/COVID19EffectsOnBusinesses by 5pm Sunday May 3.
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