CPA AUSTRALIA is calling for urgent financial support needed for businesses harmed by lockdowns.
Surveys by CPA Australia show that businesses cannot continue to absorb lockdown losses and severely impacted businesses need financial support to survive lockdowns.
CPA Australia is calling for Federal, State and Territory governments towork together to deliver a national response in which financial support becomes "standardised, scaleable, targeted and rapidly deployed".
CPA Australia chief executive officer, Andrew Hunter said future lockdowns are foreseeable "as we continue to deal with the impacts of COVID-19". However, businesses cannot continue to absorb losses created by snap lockdowns and border closures.
“Most Australian states have implemented at least one snap lockdown," Mr Hunter said. "Each time, many businesses have experienced significant, unrecoverable losses.
“We’ve been living with COVID-19 for more than a year now. JobKeeper ends next month and we still don’t have a substitute for businesses that are compulsorily closed or those otherwise impacted by lockdowns, such as suppliers and customers outside the lockdown areas.
“We understand the need for swift action to control the spread of COVID-19. However, it seems businesses are being treated as an afterthought when making lockdown decisions. If governments are going to rip the rug out from under them at short notice, they need to provide a safety net.”
CPA Australia is calling on governments to work together to develop and deliver financial support to businesses severely impacted by lockdowns and is recommending:
• Standardised (consistent across jurisdictions)
• Scaleable (to the duration of each lockdown)
• Targeted (to severely impacted businesses)
• Rapidly deployed (in hours not days or weeks)
Mr Hunter said, “This is not a reaction to events in an individual state. The next lockdown could occur anywhere in Australia.
“Sympathy won’t pay for spoilt produce, cancelled bookings and empty chairs at empty tables. Businesses need more certainty – they need a coordinated national response that will deliver help fast when the next lockdown occurs.”
CPA Australia first proposed a standardised model of disaster support for businesses before the pandemic and reiterated calls for it in its 2021-22 Federal Budget Submission. Mr Hunter said the proposal was equally applicable to natural disasters such as bushfires and floods, as it is to the current circumstances.
About CPA Australia
CPA Australia is Australia’s professional accounting body and one of the largest in the world. CPA services more than 168,000 members in over 100 countries and regions, supported by 19 offices globally. Core services include education, training, technical support and advocacy. CPA Australia provides thought leadership on local, national and international issues affecting the accounting profession and public interest. CPA Australia engages with governments, regulators and industries to advocate policies that stimulate sustainable economic growth and have positive business and public outcomes. www.cpaaustralia.com.au