Dubbo businesses and their workers hit hard by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic are holding on to hope a $130 billion federal government package could prove a lifeline.
A Dubbo accountant reports receiving a flood of inquiries on Tuesday from clients looking to know if their operation could tap into the new JobKeeper payment of $1500 a fortnight for each employee.
Announced on Monday, businesses that lose 30 per cent or more of their revenue over a month-long period from March 1 would be eligible for the payment, to pass on to full-time and part-time employees and casuals who have had their position for at least the past 12 months.
New regulations to contain the spread of coronavirus have affected multiple industries at Dubbo, and employers have told of putting off staff since March 23.
Certified practising accountant (CPA) and Business DNA partner Andrew Rose said it had been a "quite a turbulent couple of weeks".
The $130 billion package created a high level of inquiry from a wide range of his clients, he reported.
The CPA said the program would have benefits for Dubbo's economy and would save some jobs by providing an income supplement, making a difference to "bottom lines".
"When you look at a lot of businesses... employee wages and rent are a lot of the two big costs for business, Mr Rose said.
"Others it's probably not going to save the jobs, but it's going to keep the relationship with those employees with the employers, so basically when things do ramp up, they're still engaged and ready to go and be able to keep some of those valuable resources."
Mr Rose encouraged business owners to talk to their advisers, banks and employees.
Fitness Focus owner Andrew Bassett had to lay off 30 staff when he was forced to close the gym last week. He says the package "sounds promising for many small to medium size businesses".
"Clearly there are many details missing with the announcement," he said.
"We are still looking into what is available for us to offer our team.
"Let's hope it's as good as it sounds for our employees."
"Strong action" to protect businesses, preserve jobs and guarantee wages received applause from the state's peak business group.
"It is an historic rescue package reflecting the extraordinary times which we are all living through," Business NSW western NSW regional manager Vicki Seccombe said.
"This move... will give a level of certainty to business owners and their staff and hopefully keep the economy moving, despite the obstacles."
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