Since the COVID-19 outbreak in February 2020, Australia was on a strict phase 5 lockdown, in efforts to lessen the number of people infected with the virus. Though with the lockdown enforced, the infection rate in the state of Victoria is still high mainly due to the fact that the virus is passed through things like close contact with someone who is infected or just being in 2 meters around that person. The lockdown has enforced people to reside in their household residence, this has resulted in companies being closed down for the mean-time. This has resulted in a huge step back on the economy in devastating measures.
The coronavirus pandemic has already inflicted severe towards small businesses all around Australia. Small businesses in any country are considered the “backbone of the economy”, as they operate directly in the community and offer services immediately. The majority of small businesses in the retail, arts and entertainment industry have been closed since the beginning of the lockdown and even though the lockdown is starting to ease up with each phase, most companies are still inactive. According to the Australian newspaper, an article was posted stating that over 65 small business companies were forced to close indefinitely. The damage done to the economy cannot be ignored or side-lined as every working-class member sees the disfigurement around us.
With the country moving into a phase 3 lockdown, at least 60% of the companies in the Victorian state are to start operating but not on a full-scale production level. Services such as restaurants and parks are now operating at 50%, as only a total of 50 people are allowed at a time. Only essential services such as supermarkets and hospitals operate at 100%.
Government and Non-Government Organization Aid
In May 2020, the finances ministry issued 13 billion Australian dollars to assist small business owners in providing salaries. The money was set aside to provide assistance through the pandemic crisis. Most businesses that have benefitted from the grant, have reported positive feedback indicating how it really made a difference. The package was launched to support the economy through the worst of the lockdown. The Government announced that they are aware of the current economy and working on a plan to facilitate the tax budget. Other donors such as the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations (UN) have also assisted in funding different departments of the government. All in the hope of assisting companies to cope during this difficult time.
Everyone must support local businesses.
The majority of the small businesses in the country are owned by the locals or natives. As we are also locals in the community, everyone should aware that we can also assist in the support of SME. By consciously purchasing from small businesses that are not able to operate at 100%, we can ensure that the company stays active and functional. This is a fight everyone is involved in.
It's no wonder people have begun asking the question, where to buy n95 masks?