Mayor of Liverpool Wendy Waller urged while shopping local at this time is very important, members of the community can also do their bit to support local businesses by getting vaccinated against COVID-19.
“Vaccinations are key to ensuring that our local businesses are provided with an opportunity to reopen as soon as possible and then remain open,” Mayor Waller said. “The devastating impact of current lockdown measures on hundreds of local businesses have been highlighted in a recent pulse check conducted by Liverpool City Council, with a quarter of businesses reporting they have been compelled to stand staff down.”
Council’s City Economy team have called 1492 business in the Liverpool Local Government Area spanning several categories including accommodation, hospitality and food, construction, manufacturing, retail trade, fitness and recreation, health and social services, transport, wholesale, and personal services.
Of the 402 businesses who completed Council’s business sentiment survey, nearly three quarters (76.8 per cent) remain open or operating in some capacity, including offering their product or services online, shifting trade to takeaway or working from home.
Commenting on the findings, Mayor Waller said most local business are exercising resilience in the face of major challenges. These challenges include significant reductions in customer demand and business revenue, supply chain delays, staff hesitation and safety concerns and Covid related testing requirements for staff.
“The significance of small businesses to Liverpool cannot be overstated – they are the backbone of our local economy,” Mayor Waller said. “The most positive and pleasing aspect identified in our research, is the vast majority of businesses who we have been in contact with are doing their best to keep their doors open.”
The survey also found 21.6 per cent of businesses in Liverpool are in a period of ‘hibernation’ – closed for the moment, though intending to reopen. Meanwhile only a small proportion of those businesses called (just 1.53 per cent) said they were closed for good.
Mayor Waller said the impact of stay-at-home orders will be felt long after the stay-at-home order lifts here in Liverpool and across the state.
“While construction businesses and workers have picked up their tools recently, we continue to feel deeply for those who don’t have the same opportunity, particularly in the accommodation, retail trade and fitness and recreation sectors.
“The recent financial assistance packages from the State and Federal Governments will help businesses weather this storm and keep as many people as possible in jobs so they can support their families.
“However, if the Government is serious about supporting business at any size, financial support will need to be available beyond lockdown, to ensure local businesses aren’t merely surviving but thriving in their communities.”
Liverpool City Council is supporting businesses to build or further enhance their online presence to continue operating during stay-at-home orders. Council’s website has several online resources freely available from how-to guides to a webinar series on reaching new and existing customers.
Council’s Planning Advisory team is also offering free assistance to businesses who wish to operate from home or are looking to expand their offering into new products or services.
Business owners with a Liverpool City Library membership have free access to Lynda – an online learning portal created by LinkedIn featuring thousands of courses that could help small business owners improve their technical, creative, and professional expertise.
For those businesses wishing to speak to a Business Support Officer or for more information, visit: https://www.liverpool.nsw.gov.au/business/support-for-businesses-impacted-by-covid-19