The eligibility criteria for the State Government’s $3,000 Small Business Lockdown Grants should be expanded to support more small businesses impacted by recent lockdowns says WA’s leading industry tourism body.
Tourism Council WA CEO Evan Hall said it was concerning that genuine tourism businesses, which experienced a downturn due to the school holiday lockdown were not eligible for the grants.
He said: “The eligibility criteria released this week requiring businesses to have one of the listed ANZSIC codes excludes a range of tourism businesses such as wildlife parks, breweries and wineries, all of which were forced to close during the most recent lockdown or were impacted by their visitors being locked down,” he said.
“These businesses would have reasonably expected to receive assistance listening to the State Government announcement of financial support, only to later find out that the eligibility criteria excludes them.
“Applications should be opened to all businesses impacted by the lockdown which experienced a downturn due to lost school holiday trade.”
The eligibility excludes a significant amount of tourism businesses, including:
- Chocolate and confectionery manufacturers, such as chocolate provedores
- Breweries, wineries, and spirit manufacturers, including businesses with cellar doors or restaurants
- Tourist coach services and tours, such as wine tours
- Attractions including museums, historic sites and wildlife parks
A recent industry survey revealed that tourism businesses lost $36,800 each on average due to recent restrictions.
“The survey of tourism businesses shows that 89 percent had cancellations of current bookings, and 65 percent of affected businesses also lost future bookings – a concerning figure that demonstrates that more support is needed,” Mr Hall said.
Tourism Council WA is calling for the state government to open applications to all businesses impacted by the lockdown which experienced a downturn due to lost school holiday trade.