Sutherland Shire Business Chamber offers to help firms during coronavirus upheaval

Sutherland Shire Business Chamber treasurer Brendan Lucas. Picture: John Veage
Sutherland Shire Business Chamber treasurer Brendan Lucas. Picture: John Veage

Sutherland Shire Business Chamber is offering to help businesses struggling to survive coronavirus upheaval.

"The chamber is available to support all local businesses and put them in touch with relevant experts to assist in this challenging time," said the chamber's treasurer Brendan Lucas.

"Our message is simple: We are here to help, you don't need to go through this alone.

"We understand the stress of multiple COVID-19 emails and conflicting information in the media making decision making overwhelming.

"We want to keep the local business community together and are introducing online networking events and useful information to business owners, so we can support each other and get through this."

Mr Lucas, who has an accounting business at Sutherland, said the chamber was pleased the federal government had acted quickly to significantly boost the original stimulus package.

"The cash flow boost of up to $100,000, with a minimum payment of $20,000, for businesses and not-for-profits will help," he said.

However, given the recent shutdowns, many businesses have been forced to closed operations and make difficult decisions to stand down staff.

"Time will tell whether current measures are enough to save business and jobs particularly those who find themselves unemployed and rental and mortgage commitments to pay.

"The ability to access business loans and defer current loan repayments for up to six months will assist in covering the gap, however many business owners are already in financial stress.

"For those with team members working remotely, they don't know how long to go and are trying to adapt to this environment. For those forcibly closed, they are unsure when they can re-open.

"There is a lot of uncertainty in the business community, just like there is for every Australian.

"We do expect more stimulus to come, but we still expect more business to close their doors (temporarily or permanently) and have to let employees go or stand them down."