Calls to extend JobKeeper as Business NSW survey paints "stark" picture

Kellon Beard.

Kellon Beard.

Nearly half the businesses in a recent Business NSW-sponsored survey say they would have closed without the intervention of the federal government's JobKeeper program.

The survey tested 1000 businesses from across the state.

And the impacts of the JobKeeper scheme on business is not lost on member for Cowper Pat Conaghan who says the federal government must continue the program beyond the September deadline.

"To remove this life-line to those workers in a time where businesses are still struggling to rebuild is counterproductive to the original intent of the scheme," Mr Conaghan said.

"In my view, JobKeeper must continue past the original September deadline to support specific industries such as the tourism and hospitality sectors, particularly in regional and rural Australia where the economic recovery will be vastly different to more densely-populated communities."

Business NSW regional manager Mid North Coast Kellon Beard described the statistics as "stark, but not surprising".

"Two in five or 44 per cent of businesses that participated in the survey say they would have closed without JobKeeper," he said.

"While three out of four - 74 per cent - say staff are much better off because of the government program.

"And two in three or 65 per cent say JobKeeper will help their business to "snap back" (once the economy begins to recovery)."

The program is due to end in September, although the federal government says it will continually monitor the impacts of the program.

"Business NSW is continuing to lobby for a more targeted supportive package for business post September, especially for those dependent on international tourists.

"Industries least likely to be running normally by end of JobKeeper include, arts and recreation services; accommodation and food services; other services; education and training; administrative and support services; transport, postal and warehousing; and, construction."

The survey also revealed that more than one in three businesses - 40 per cent - have no plan to manage their business when JobKeeper payments stop.

Mr Conaghan said JobKeeper has been essential for keeping people in a job and has maintained the strong working relationship required for a successful business.

"More importantly it has also allowed individuals and families to put food on the table," he said.

"As a government, I think we should acknowledge that those people on JobKeeper right now, are Australians who prior to the coronavirus pandemic had jobs and paid taxes, some for many years.

"In some instances, this is the first time in their working lives they have had to rely on government assistance.

Federal treasurer Josh Frydenberg will complete a review on JobKepper before a determination on its duration can be made.

The Treasurer has said the outcomes of the review will be provided during an economic and fiscal update with the Finance Minister on July 23.