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COVID-19 restrictions: Victorian government urged to act now or risk losing thousands of businesses

Victoria’s most powerful business industry groups are taking on the state government over a lack of clarity surrounding coronavirus restriction easing.

The Australian Industry Group and the Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry are calling on the government to act now, or risk thousands of businesses closing.

Paul Guerra from the Victorian Chamber of Commerce said businesses need to be given back some power so they can recover before government stimulus packages end.

“We trusted businesses on the way into this to do the right thing and en masse everybody stood down and made sure that people didn’t come into the office, let’s trust them on the way out,” he told Neil Mitchell.

“We’ve got to give business owners the opportunity to have a runway before all of the stimulus is released, particularly with JobKeeper coming up at the end of September. We need to give business owners a chance to get back up and running.”

Mr Guerra said areas of the state with very low or no infection rates should be allowed to return to pre-coronavirus trading.

“Let’s get regional and suburbia going, where the virus spread has been well and truly contained,” he said.

“We know not everybody can come back into the office at the same time, but we need guidance from the state on what that plan looks like … so that businesses can work with government to be able to do that effectively.”

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