Finally, some positivity!
 
It’s been a tough year for all small businesses across Australia, but it is great to see so much positivity around this week as Victoria takes a huge step towards recovering from the pandemic and re-opening the economy.
 
Finally pubs, restaurants and retail outlets can fling open their doors and start to do what they do best, and there’s already reports of venues planning for a rush of activity in the weeks until Christmas, and some even booked into January!
 
There will obviously be a few teething problems along the way, and I’m sure all businesses would have liked a bit more notice to plan and prepare, but seeing Victoria start to catch up to the other states with their economic activity is a great sign.
 
The downside is that Victorian businesses are now a long way behind the other states in their recovery and their ability to access the JobMaker program, which was announced in the recent federal budget. This is a program designed to get people who are out of work back into jobs, and targets creating thousands of new jobs - particularly for young people - across Australia.
 
The priority this year for Victorian businesses (and also big sectors like Queensland and NSW tourism) has been in survival rather than job creation, so for them it's unlikely that this program will be of much use for some time.
 
The first step for businesses that have been just surviving is now to get COVID-ready before looking to grow with more jobs down the track. That means getting your cleaning systems upgraded, training staff on social distancing, and getting your COVID-Safe plan into action.
 
Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said on budget night that he expected JobMaker to account for 10% of all new jobs this financial year, but based on my conversations in recent weeks I’d expect that to be much lower until at least after Easter, when things like ski fields will be looking to hire staff.

Now that could just be us Victorians being extra cautious after what we’ve just been through, but I think treasury should be giving these businesses some extra time to access JobMaker if they want to see the benefits of that job creation on the east coast.  If you are a small business and have any questions on JobMaker feel free to contact us.