Business NSW Central Coast has urged all levels of government to work together to get the state’s economy back on track as the fallout from COVID-19 continues to be felt throughout the Coast’s business community.
Regional Director, Paula Martin, said the organisation’s recent Back On Track Report had outlined a number of recovery drivers aimed at ensuring that businesses stay open, staff are rehired and foundations are set in place for future economic growth.
“Last week the Commonwealth released the Government’s Economic and Fiscal Update which reaffirmed Australia is in recession, with unemployment expected to spike at 9.25 per cent and the budget deficit forecast to be the worst since World War II,” Martin said.
“Businesses have had to make enormous sacrifices to keep all of us safe during this global health crisis.
“Unfortunately, this has come at great cost, with many businesses having to close their doors or lay-off staff.
“A recent Business NSW survey showed on average, business revenue has fallen 43 per cent since the pandemic started.
“Without JobKeeper, many businesses would be unable to maintain operations in their current form.
“Half of the respondents indicated they would be unable to maintain current hours and headcount when payments stop.”
Martin said governments should boost confidence by signing a compact to return the unemployment rate to below 6 per cent and outline when or how remaining restrictions will be lifted as a major recovery driver.
Other suggestions for government were: establishing a Youth Jobs Guarantee to keep youth learning or earning, removing barriers for investment, growth and employment through regulatory reform; providing affordable, reliable energy by expanding the energy supply market and removing unnecessary costs on business; working together to deliver better government and improvements in key areas such as tax; ensuring payroll tax does not deter employers from hiring staff; improving workplace relations which cuts red tape, creates jobs and boosts living standards; and building a seamless state economy by better connecting regional NSW and deepening labour markets.
“While Australia has performed well compared to other countries, outbreaks in Victoria and subsequent risks presented to NSW underscore the persistent threat posed by COVID-19,” Martin said.
“Our future success rests on these recovery drivers to protect and steady the economy.
“Now more than ever our political leaders need to work together to get our economy back on track.”
Media release, Jul 27
Business NSW Central Coast Regional Director, Paula Martin