Local businesses are feeling the pinch as the COVID-19 crisis deepens. In response, the Goulburn Chamber of Commerce will host an online COVID-19 business impact forum on Thursday, March 26 at 5:30pm.
Presentations by local and regional experts will cover the government's stimulus packages as they relate to businesses and the latest advice from the Department of Health. Business owners will have the opportunity to ask questions and identify where they most need support.
"This is a very difficult time for local businesses. There is a lot of uncertainty which understandably can cause fear," said chamber president Mark Bradbury.
"We will get through this, life will eventually return to normal. In the meantime, we want to support our local businesses as best we can to ensure they survive, and come back stronger when COVID-19 is over."
One of the biggest areas of uncertainty for businesses owners is understanding which elements of the Government stimulus package they may be eligible for, and how to access the benefits.
Chamber vice-president Darrell Weekes said that "while announcements for stimulus packages have been made, the back end of how the government will accept applications is yet to be communicated."
To help business owners understand their entitlements Joanne McCauley, managing partner at local accountancy firm Jigsaw Tax and Advisory, will join the forum to explain eligibility requirements for the business-related stimulus incentives and programs.
Other panel members include Geoff Kettle, a Southern NSW Local Health District board member, who will review current health advice and provide an update on COVID-19 in the region. Andrew Haskins of Southern Region Business Enterprise Centre (SRBEC) will cover the latest government measures and initiatives, including the Coronavirus SME Guarantee Scheme, to support businesses impacted by the coronavirus and provide up-to-date clarification as to what are considered essential services.
Now, more than ever, it is crucial to shop local. The Chamber's Shop 2580 social media initiative launched in November 2019 will continue to showcase local business and encourage residents to think local first. As the COVID-19 measures continue, businesses will need the support of residents even more.
Vice-president Danae Vitnell said social distancing and isolation guidelines should absolutely be observed, but we are asking everyone to look at how they can support shopping locally where possible over the coming months.
"If that means buying from local businesses online, that is great but it could also mean liking, sharing and recommending your favourite local businesses via social media. Or reaching out to a business owner to check on their mental health and well being."
As the situation is rapidly changing, the Goulburn Chamber is focused on providing business owners with timely, accurate information. To support this the chamber has added a list of key links to COVID-19 advice and information for business owners to its website.
The COVID-19 business impact forum will be conducted via an online conference meeting platform.
Attendance is free and open to all business owners in Goulburn-Mulwaree. Those interested can join via the link found on the chamber website. The link will also be provided on the Goulburn Chamber of Commerce Facebook page.
The chamber will continue to share updates via Facebook and the website to ensure local business owners have access to the information and support they need.
For more information please contact the Goulburn Chamber of Commerce via email@example.com or call 0477 258 005.
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