The Australian Hotels Association (WA) has cautiously welcomed the WA Government’s Level 2 COVID-19 Business Assistance Package but says more will be required in the months ahead to stem job losses and business closures within WA’s hospitality venues.
AHA(WA) CEO Bradley Woods said any financial relief is appreciated by the hospitality industry, but that the road ahead will inevitably bring significant hardship that will require additional support.
“There are serious concerns that the package may have set the qualifying bar too high and many hospitality venues may struggle to meet the criteria,” Mr Woods said.
“Those who have been genuinely impacted must be able to demonstrate a 50% reduction in turnover, to a period in 2021 where pandemic restrictions were in place, and many businesses may not be able to demonstrate losses at that level.”
“The AHA(WA) has asked the WA Government to adopt a more reasonable and flexible model comparing turnover with pre-COVID levels.”
“It is important to recognise that hospitality is a seasonal industry, so if a venue has a 40 per cent decline in revenue over what is meant to be the busiest period of the year, they will quickly find themselves in a perilous financial position, yet unable to access assistance.”
“The experience in the eastern states shows that when COVID-19 spreads, hospitality businesses are negatively affected by public health measures as well as by a decline in consumer confidence, with people keen to stay at home and avoid what are perceived to be high risk settings.”
“The AHA is advocating for a comprehensive, State and Commonwealth-funded support package that provides hospitality venues with the support necessary to ensure businesses remain solvent and jobs remain secure.”
“Through good economic management and high commodity prices, WA has had the strongest economy in the country throughout the pandemic and is therefore in a good position to provide substantial support to industries bearing the brunt of measures to contain COVID-19.”
“None of the $12.59 billion delivered through the COVID Disaster Payment went to WA, so we believe now is the appropriate time for WA businesses to receive their fair share of Commonwealth support, which has been provided to other jurisdictions.”