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Presidents Report - March 2020

Posted by Rod Dever - Chamber President on 23 March 2020


What does this mean?
We are advising updates as they come to hand from factual and credible sources. There has been a lot of miscommunication emerging from both non credible and opportunistic sources which is impacting on the actions of the community. This in turn is having a flow on effect to businesses and their operations.

NSW currently has the highest rate of infection nationally. You can see up to date details of the international movement of this virus at https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus. As of the time of preparation of this update Australia has 7 reported deaths and 1,353 reported cases. We all need to do what we can to reduce the spread and eliminate the virus. It can be deadly. Only this past weekend Italy had a death rate of one person every two minutes. This is tragic and we want to prevent this.

What are the best sources of information?

World Health Organisation COVID 19 Dashboard: (updated continuously)                                                                                                                                                                                                                      https://experience.arcgis.com/experience/685d0ace521648f8a5beeeee1b9125cd

Australian Government Department of Health (updated daily)

NSW Health: (frequently updated with new information)

What are the symptoms to look for?
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed below, you should quarantine yourself at home, and contact your local emergency health service or doctor:

  • Fever
  • Breathing difficulties such as breathlessness
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Fatigue or tiredness

Chamber Update
Whilst the situation is serious and should be treated as such, the Chamber is calling on our members to remain calm and assist us all to work through the issue.

The Federal Government has announced multi-billion dollar stimulus package with a range of supports for businesses and employees. There are individual and community supports as well.

We are also asking landlords to offer flexibility on rents where a business is experiencing a financial downturn or cease of trade. This is not asking for free rent, just a level of understanding with their tenants where a demonstrated hardship may be existing.

We understand that some businesses are taking the process of supply and demand to a level that has not before been seen locally. We urge you to consider the longer-term damage that could be done to your business reputation in these actions, as some customers may choose to not return to you on principal. We do not condone these actions. These actions will only drive away loyal customers and are counterproductive for business. We urge business operators to have a common-sense approach to these sorts of things and think ethically.

Many events have been cancelled including those for the Chamber at a local, state and national level owing to the Federal & State Governments Response Plan of Management. This plan is aimed at containing the spread of the virus and mitigating the risk to the community.

For members, if you need support you can contact Business NSW at their call centre. Your membership with GEBC provides you access as an Alliance Partner. The team are on hand to guide business operators through supports and assist with "what may be next" for your business. Locally, you can call Business NSW ( formerly NSW Business Chamber on (02) 4391 0600. You can also contact us locally at the Chamber office on (02) 4323 1735.

If you have any ideas that you think may add assistance to the business community get in touch with us. No idea is a bad one. Your thought or suggestion on how we can get greater support for businesses locally can make the difference between a business remaining in operation and one that is forced to close as it can no longer be sustained.

We have regular contact with our local members and they are ready to listen to see what more can be done to keep the coast's small to medium business operations open over this challenging time. Contact info@gebc.com.au with your ideas as soon as you can.

Rod Dever
Chamber President


Author:Rod Dever - Chamber President
Tags:Presidents ReportGosford Erina Business Chamber NewsGosfordCommunity

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