‘We are confused’: businesses grapple with restrictions
AS GYMS, tattoo parlours and dance studios get the green light to open this weekend, the state's peak business body has thrown down the gauntlet to the government.
Business NSW says business owners across the State are confused and frustrated over a lack of clarity surrounding a return to normal operations.
And they want decisive action from the State Government.
The issue came to a head after thousands of people participated in Black Lives Matter protests and the Deputy Premier John Barilaro said he wanted fans back in stadiums as early as this weekend.
"It now seems that 'all bets are off'," Business NSW Regional Manager Jane Laverty said.
"If that's the case, then it's time to let all businesses re-open to full capacity, get the economy moving again and get thousands of people across NSW re-employed.
"I'm excited about seeing people getting back out there to watch their favourite team, but how is it that some businesses can't even open or can barely cover their costs due to restrictions, yet we see thousands marching without social distancing and they are now toying with the idea of letting thousands attend football matches?"
Ms Laverty said many businesses had "gone to the wall", laying off staff and making huge sacrifices to control the spread of coronavirus, even accepting the imposition of huge fines if caught doing the wrong thing.
What the business community deserved in return, Ms Laverty said, was clarity on when restrictions would be lifted so that they could plan accordingly.
"Businesses may have gone into hibernation overnight, but they won't be able to come out of hibernation overnight," she said.
"Even if they (NSW Government) said it would be July 1, at least that gives businesses a chance to plan and be ready for that."
Importantly, it would give businesses better chance of getting back on their feet before various stimulus packages are due to run out in September.
The longer they were able to trade unencumbered by restrictions, the better their outlook.
"It's often been said that the true impact of this crisis will come when the various stimulus packages cease in September, so Government needs to give business owners the best chance possible to survive before we get to that economic cliff," she said.
"That means giving business owners some clarity about when and how they can re-open.
"There cannot be one rule for protesters and footy fans and another for the business community."