Mid West businesses affected by COVID lockdown eligible for State Government relief

Phoebe PinGeraldton Guardian
Premier Mark McGowan said regional businesses would be eligible for the COVID-19 lockdown support payments.
Camera IconPremier Mark McGowan said regional businesses would be eligible for the COVID-19 lockdown support payments. Credit: Iain Gillespie/The West Australian, Iain Gillespie

Geraldton and Mid West small businesses affected by the recent Perth and Peel region COVID-19 lockdown may be eligible for a one-off $3000 support payment.

Premier Mark McGowan on Friday announced the State Government had committed $41.5 million for the new grants, which will be open to about 2300 regional businesses which incurred direct costs or lost more than 30 per cent of their revenue because of the restrictions.

Mid West Chamber of Commerce and Industry chief executive Joanne Fabling said while every bit of support helped, the $3000 could not cover the “true cost” of lost business. “It is never going to be enough,” she said.

“The true cost as shown by the (Chamber of Industry and Commerce WA) survey was around $6000 a day, and that is across the metro and regional areas.”

We have one operator that stands to lose around $50,000 worth of bookings.

“We have tourism businesses that had bookings from Melbourne, Queensland and New South Wales for tours, and those people cancelled,” she said.

“We have one operator that stands to lose around $50,000 worth of bookings.”

Ms Fabling said another concern was many smaller and micro businesses affected by COVID-19 restrictions would not qualify for State Government support.

Small Business Minister Reece Whitby said the program recognised regional hospitality, accommodation, fitness, catering and other businesses had been affected by the four-day lockdown.

"Expanding the grants program into regional Western Australia will provide a helping hand for eligible businesses outside Perth and Peel who lost bookings as a result of the lockdown,” he said.

"The restrictions, while difficult, were necessary to stop the spread of COVID-19 and avoid a longer lockdown which would have had a devastating impact on the economy.”

The one-off grants are for the lockdown between June 29 and July 2 and the associated restriction period from July 3 to July 6.

Small businesses can apply from July 19 online at www.smallbusiness.wa.gov.au and grant payments are expected to start by the end of the month.

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