A Dubbo travel business is bracing for the end of JobKeeper within weeks as it navigates operating in a COVID world.
Langley's Coaches office coordinator Sarah Hansen said the winding up of the wage subsidy definitely would have an impact, "because we don't have the stability of the normal income so much to help us along".
"So we need to be really careful, as things could be cancelled, and then there's obviously nothing," she said.
Mrs Hansen, part of the family business started by her parents four decades ago, told of the difficulties faced with the pandemic's onset.
She reports the coach travelling and touring company had to reduce the working hours of its permanent staff.
Casual staff were put off, except for its school bus drivers who were needed for the government contracts that were still operating, she said.
The business is an employer of about 40 people, Mrs Hansen reports.
"With JobKeeper going away, we have to ensure that we are being really careful of how we are managing our staff hours, as we want to maintain our current staff as much as we can, even with the limited amount of work that is going on at present," she said.
"Tourism is such a hard area, because obviously we rely on being able to travel to different areas, and with border closures happening at short notice, we can't so much risk travelling interstate without the potential of them closing at short notice.
"We have only just released our 2021 touring brochure, and already, one of the tours had to be cancelled as the event the tour was going to decided to cancel for 2021 due to COVID.
"So last year was incredibly hard."
Mrs Hansen sees some signs of improvement, but isn't relaxing yet.
"2021 is turning out to be much better, but I also don't want to hold my breath too long, because it is so touchy, and things change so quickly," she said.
"So just hoping that things settle a bit, and we can try for a good year of travelling."
At the worst of the COVID-19 crisis mid-2020 more than 1600 businesses in the Dubbo 2830 postcode were relying on JobKeeper, Australian Taxation Office (ATO) figures showed. That number had fallen to 587 in November.
But nationally the tourism industry lost almost $7 billion over the peak summer holiday period
The Australian tourism industry lost almost $7 billion over the peak summer holiday period as a result of the latest COVID-19 outbreak and subsequent state border closures, according to research commissioned by the Tourism and Transport Forum (TTF) and published in January.
JobKeeper will end on March 28.
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