Many small businesses will never re-open.
Come September and many business owners reliant on free childcare will never reopen if the government does not recognise the potential financial disaster and at least gradually taper off the fortnightly wage subsidy payments to small businesses.
Over 900,000 businesses are impacted by the closing down of the wage subsidy. With 40% of small businesses run by women the impact on this cohort of owners will be catastrophic.
The government at this stage is planning to replace the loss of free childcare with a $708M support package for the childcare industry which is designed to partly replace JobKeeper payments for childcare workers.
The imposition of childcare fees will affect women, once again highlighting the gender imbalance of the pandemic which has seen women lose work disproportionately. As quoted in a previous article on women and work during the pandemic, 457,500 women have lost work compared to 380,700 men.
Kate Carnell, small business ombudsman, is very focussed on supporting the opening up of small businesses and sole traders to get the economy moving again.
Businesses including travel, accommodation and events space are not operating at all in the present situation. These workers and owners will be left without a safety net come September unless the government eases the JobKeeper payments over a period of several weeks and even months until the economy begins to get back on its feet.
Annie Young 06/07/2020
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