NSW's seven-week-long COVID-19 outbreak has cost the Dubbo RSL Club group an estimated more than $500,000 in lost revenue in three key areas to date, general manager Gus Lico reports.
The organisation's food and beverage, accommodation, and functions and events streams have all been hit hard as the state battles surging cases of the virus's Delta strain.
The extent of the dip in revenue has resulted in it having to ask "many" staff members to take leave, Mr Lico said.
But the organisation leader was quick to acknowledge the pain was also being felt by others and, pointing to last year's comeback from COVID-19 disruption, he delivered a fortifying message.
"I am very well aware that we are not alone and hundreds of businesses are experiencing this trend," he said.
"Many in varied industries and small businesses [are] doing it tough, very tough.
"We came out of this once and we will do it again.
"We just need to recalibrate, work together, get vaccinated and beat this dreadful virus.
"We have been and are all in this together."
We have been and are all in this together.Dubbo RSL Club general manager Gus Lico
As COVID cases grew, a snap lockdown was put in place for Greater Sydney and neighbouring regions on June 26, along with a statewide requirement to wear masks in all indoor non-residential settings and venue capacity restrictions.
Mr Lico said its effects were noticed immediately.
"I believe that people were in panic mode with the implementation of further restrictions including masks in rural and regional NSW, which came as a surprise to so many," he said.
"We at the club take all government and NSW Health orders very seriously and with that comes consequences in business interruptions and decline in trade."
He detailed the stark way in which the outbreak was affecting the group, which has the venues of the Dubbo RSL, North Dubbo RSL Sporties, an aquatic and health club, a motel and Dubbo Rhino Lodge.
Since the restrictions came in at the end of June, it had experienced a "large dip" in the food and beverage operation of up to 50 per cent, which equated to $200,000 plus, to date, Mr Lico said.
NSW recorded 207 new locally acquired cases of COVID-19 in the 24 hours to 8pm last night.— NSW Health (@NSWHealth) August 2, 2021
Of these locally acquired cases, 105 are linked to a known case or cluster, 92 are household contacts & 13 are close contacts, the source of infection for 102 cases is under investigation pic.twitter.com/FUKl2GTqL2
The accommodation sites had suffered greatly - many cancellations received in the past five weeks, including future bookings to the end of August had the effect of about 500 plus room nights lost, he said.
It equated to $125,000 plus in lost sales, he said.
Functions and events had been geared up for "an excellent" July-August with conferences, fundraisers, weddings and many general functions but it was not to be, he said.
"The rug here too, was also taken from under their feet," Mr Lico said.
"A conservative estimation of some $300,000 in lost revenue."
When last year's 10-week lockdown finished in June, the club - and other industries - found it difficult to find staff, Mr Lico said.
"After months of recruitment and having reached the expected level, we are now in the opposite position of having to ask many to take leave as revenue has declined that much," he said.
The federal and state governments announced a support package for businesses dealing with COVID on July 13.
"We are at the present time exploring our options to see if we qualify for any assistance," Mr Lico said.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content: