Member Statement: Many businesses in my region are doing it hard too, but those who have been able to pivot, who have been able to do takeaway food, who have looked hard at their situations have done some remarkable things. We are also in a time when our dairy farmers at the moment—can you believe—are doing better than ever, and that has been fantastic, with a good year last year. The construction industry also has been booming in Shepparton, and all the businesses that feed off that have been doing well, but there can be no doubt that the tourism, hospitality and those industries have done it hard. The government business funding that is provided for them does not go anywhere near making up for the losses they suffer, and of course for the casual workers they employ, especially with this shutdown and post JobKeeper, it has been really hard.
In our office we have spoken with so many businesses who are doing it hard, particularly those in gyms and dance schools, the ones who have really shut down for much longer than others have had to. We have helped people navigate their way through the system online with Business Victoria for over a year now, and many people are really both emotionally and financially at their wits’ end. Just to give a couple of examples of them, an indoor children’s entertainment centre which employs 25 staff was closed after only 13 days in business in March last year due to the COVID restrictions, and they have now been plunged back into that situation again.