JobKeeper offers ‘only option’ for economic survival
FOR many Warwick businesses, JobKeeper assistance is the lifeline keeping doors open – but that doesn’t mean the payments have been the easy-to-access relief store owners wanted.
At Coffee Club Warwick, owner Petula Kenny said she hadn’t finished the application process due to red tape.
“I still haven’t finalised it because it’s so painful to get on to the site and to prove your identity etc,” she said.
“It’s not like we have a lot of time at the moment either.”
Only one staff member would be eligible for the payments as the majority were casual or had worked at the cafe less than 12 months.
Regardless, Ms Kenny acknowledged the assistance was keeping her skeleton staff employed.
“We’re not making enough to pay wages and keep people here,” she said.
“But we also can’t afford to lose anyone.
“We’re expected to keep doors open but if we don’t give regular and new customers the service they expect we will lose them forever and have to close 12 months down the track.”
At Belle Vue Cafe, owner Mark Favero said nine staff members were eligible and that JobKeeper had been their “only option” despite the “difficult” upfront cost.
“We’ve been lucky to be well enough off to do so but it is a test of juggling finances,” he said.
In the long run, he said it would be the key to the business’s longevity.
“Even the fact that we’re not stopping work means we don’t have to go through the massive ordeal of retraining staff or getting back into it,” he said.
“Keeping active, even in a diminished capacity, is so much better than not being there at all.”