Businesses located in the Perth CBD are getting ready for a massive wave of covid-19. Many of Perth’s office towers, footpaths and malls are unusually quiet as more office workers decide to start working from home.
Google mobility data indicated that there was 41 percent fewer people at the city’s public transport hubs and a 36 percent drop in visitors to retail and recreation venues between January and February, compared to two years ago.
The City of Perth outlined that its parking data revealed a decrease of almost 20 percent in the number of cars using its car parks or street parking bays at the start of February 2022.
This is concerning for a lot of workers as the survival of these shops and hospitality venues hugely depends on office workers opening their wallets and whose owners have already had to sack staff this year.
The huge reduction is foot traffic in the Perth means that the city is experiencing a shadow lockdown. This is a huge change of events for Western Australia’s economy which has performed strongly during the pandemic, where unemployment is low and office vacancy rates are starting to improve after being the worst in all of Australia.
Many Western Australian businesses are now forcing their employees to work from home either full-time or part-time.
Many Western Australian businesses have decided to split their workforces into remote teams and office teams to minimise the risk of everyone being absent through sickness or having to quarantine as a close contact.
The other obvious factor currently occurring in Perth is that a large percent of people is avoiding crowded places like the CBD to reduce their risk of infection.
The current situation is leaving Perth retail and hospitality operators in dire straits, as have fewer levers to pull in order to keep their businesses alive in a situation where a lot of factors are out of their control.
Many are frustrated that many companies are already reducing the number of workers they have at their CBD offices, despite no stay-at-home orders by the WA government.
In early February, the operators of the historic Royal Hotel who have won accolades for their food had to close their Willi’s wine bar and make the tough decision of having to let 11 employees go.
Executive chef Chase Weber revealed that the hotel’s earnings were down between 70 and 80 percent compared to last year.
Mr Weber said Willi’s had been popular with office workers, who stopped there for a drink, lunch or a meeting, but they had to close it because no one if there.
Chase Webster says that the current situation is by far the toughest hardship his business has ever experienced.
Western Australian Government Announces New Covid-19 Support Package
Western Australian businesses have been handed a much needed $77 million support package by the state government. The funding announced by the McGowan government aims to help businesses that have been impacted by the delay of re-opening the states boarder from 5th February to 3rd March.
The support package will be distributed amongst businesses such as; travel agents, tourism businesses and other organisations working in events and international education.
According to figures published by WA’s Tourism Council, tours, attractions and events in Perth have reported an 82 percent downturn, while their regional counterparts said business had dropped by 55 percent.
As part of the package, many businesses will be able to claim between $10,000 and $20,000 for costs they incurred in preparing for the cancelled re-opening date of Saturday 5th February, with an extra $50,000 on offer to cover the cost of refunding deposits from international and interstate cancellations.
The team at C&D Restructure and Taxation Advisory are here to help. As part of the Vault Group we can offer the full suite of financial products and advice to help you navigate the business landscape. Schedule a meeting here via Calendly or give us a call on 1300 1 VAULT (1300 182 858)
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