Coronavirus. COVID-19. These new words have become such a huge part of our lives in just over two months that a simple Google search for COVID-19 returns over 3 billion results. New phrases such as ‘social distancing’, ‘flattening the curve’ and ‘self-isolation’ are commonplace and never have we been told so much to wash our hands. All the time! Life for all of us has changed and none of us can foresee the ‘new normal’ – as much as we would all like to see it arrive as soon as possible.
One possible light on the horizon is the impetus being given to major infrastructure and construction work to aid in the economic and employment recovery of NSW and all other Australian states and territories.
There is now a real sense of urgency in the planning and construction of Sydney Metro West and a renewed push to commence work on Parramatta Light Rail Stage 2. In fact, there is so much news about Metro West that, in future issues of SOPBiz, we will likely devote an entire section to this vital project in each edition to keep you informed and help minimalize local disruption to business.
Over the last month our advocacy partner the Western Sydney Business Chamber kindly extended invites to Business Association Members to attend a range of webinars with senior people from Business and Government.
These included sessions with Stephen Walters, Chief Economist, NSW Treasury, the Hon. Damien Tudehope MLC, Minister for Finance & Small Business, Hon. Rob Stokes MP, Minister of Planning and Public Spaces and Sam Romaniuk, CEO, Sydney Olympic Park Authority, Elizabeth Mildwater, Deputy Secretary Greater Sydney, Transport for NSW and last week, Simon Draper, CEO, Infrastructure NSW. It was pleasing to see so many of our members participating in these insightful and informative Zoom meetings.
Sometimes, the breadth and quantity of assistance offered to business by both state and federal government can seem quite overwhelming. Working out what is best for businesses in all their multi-faceted types can be a challenge.
The Business Association is always here to help you and feel free to contact me at any time. If I am unable to give you on the spot advice, I can certainly point you in the right direction.
To assist you navigate your way through the maze of information available I recommend you register for NSW Government Business Connect. Businesses can access support here or by calling 1300 134 359.
I also encourage all business to join Business Australia which is essentially the parent organisation of Business Chambers. This is a free membership and once you have joined, Members can use this site to ask any specific questions re grants, JobKeeper, commercial rent relief and so on. All the necessary details are in this link to the Stimulus Advice.
Please continue to travel, work and exercise safely and I look forward to catching up with many of you in person as the restrictions begin to ease further.
And to make this happen sooner so we can all get on with business, I encourage you to download the Government COVIDSafe app.