Local businesses still face huge uncertainty – Media Release

July 22, 2020

COSBOA welcomes increase in retail spending but warns local businesses still face huge uncertainty 

 

The Council of Small Business Organisations Australia (COSBOA) today welcomed data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics showing a further rise in retail spending in June, but said the outlook for hundreds of thousands of small businesses across Australia remained highly uncertain.

Preliminary data on retail trade for June from the ABS data showed a 2.4% rise in overall retail spending from levels in May.

The removal of lockdown restrictions in many parts of the country during June was reflected in a rise of more than 20% in spending at cafes, restaurants, and takeaway food services.

However, spending at cafés, restaurants and takeaways remained 17% below the levels of June 2019, highlighting the scale of the shock to café and restaurant businesses from the Covid19 pandemic.

COSBOA chief executive Peter Strong said the coming reduction in JobSeeker payments and changes to JobKeeper would affect the disposable income of many Australians – money that has been supporting small businesses.

Mr Strong said: “We are seeing a lot of volatility in economic data at the moment.

“The headline data of course doesn’t capture what’s happening to individual businesses in the community.

“The rise in spending at cafés and restaurants is particularly welcome. But those businesses are still a long way off where they were at the same time last year.

“The rest of 2020 will remain highly uncertain for small businesses around Australia. Some have seen a welcome lift in spending as they have adapted to the new conditions, but are still wondering if they can make it to Christmas.

“Australians can help ensure these businesses survive if they GO LOCAL FIRST and shop with small businesses, both in-store and online.”

COSBOA is running a six-month campaign with funding support from the Morrison government urging Australians to GO LOCAL FIRST and shop with small, local businesses both in-store, and online.

Find out more about the campaign by searching “Go Local First”, checking out the #golocalfirst hashtag on social media, or visiting www.golocalfirst.com.au

ENDS

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