Goulburn Chamber of Commerce hosted an online forum for the business community who are facing uncertain times due to the coronavirus pandemic.
"We realized that COVID-19 has affected the business community. It's a difficult time for businesses and there is a lot of uncertainty. Hence, we decided to organise this forum," Mark Bradbury, chamber president said.
A total of 24 cases have been confirmed in the Southern NSW Local Health District. Six people have tested positive for coronavirus in Goulburn where 192 tests have been conducted as on Friday, March 27.
Andrew Haskins from Southern Region Business Enterprise Centre spoke about the support available to the businesses during this time.
"We are treading on uncharted waters. The support mechanism is to assist small business owners on how they can retune their businesses, look at opportunities and how businesses can collaborate with the help of SRBEC and other government organisations," Mr Haskins said.
"For businesses in the shutdown phase, we can give guidance in terms of employment, the correct procedure for giving staff assistance in leaving your business and then embarking on entitlements through other government bodies."
Mr Haskins spoke about the impact of restrictions on social gatherings on small businesses in the region.
"Establish what service you have to offer and how the opportunity can be reconfigured. If you have a service and there are consumers who need that product, it's just a change in the mindset on how to it can be delivered," he said.
"We are not encouraging people to shut doors on their businesses but are asking them to look at the opportunities that are available."
Joanne McCauley from Jigsaw Tax & Advisory Pty Ltd spoke about business eligibility and access to the government's stimulus packages.
"Most industries are suffering in some way. So many people have lost their jobs, venues have been shut and it's stressful times for lots of people," Mrs McCauley said.
"The situation is different as a business owner whether you are a sole trader, a partner in the partnership, a company or trust and where you are employing staff."
Geoff Kettle, the southern area local health board member, emphasised on the need to wash our hands for 20 seconds and maintain social distance among other measures.
The aim of the forum was to provide up-to-date and accurate information to the wider business community and it's members when the situation is changing every day.
Links to information regarding advice and resources regarding current health measures, government response and assistance to reduce the economic impact on businesses are available on the Goulburn Chamber of Commerce website.
The state government on Friday announced the release of the second stage of its economic package aimed at keeping people in jobs, helping businesses and supporting our most vulnerable in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The creation of a $1 billion Working for NSW fund will help sustain the business, create new jobs and retrain employees.
Deputy Premier John Barilaro said the state government's package will support employment, provide relief for business and protect those most in need.
''These are unprecedented times and if we are to emerge in the best shape possible we need to ensure businesses keep their heads above water and keep employees on the books," Mr Barilaro said.
"Now is the time for all of us to work together, support each other, show compassion and lend a hand wherever we can to those hurting.
"We will do whatever it takes to help businesses stay afloat so that they can hold onto as many jobs as possible as we get through this crisis. We will also be there to support those most vulnerable to ensure no one is left behind."
NSW last week announced a $2.3 billion funding package which included $700 million to boost health and $1.6 billion for tax cuts and job creation.
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