The longer regional NSW is locked down, the more businesses will suffer and eventually fail, Business NSW's Riverina-Murray regional manager says.
Anthony McFarlane said businesses across southern NSW were 'quite vulnerable' going into this lockdown given border closures and Victorian lockdowns had previously cut off a large proportion of their clientele.
Hospitality, accommodation and retail businesses have been most acutely affected and many are at risk.
"The longer the lockdown continues in regional NSW the greater likelihood businesses will not survive given they are already in a vulnerable position, having had to weather the past 18 months of government restrictions and various lockdowns including border closures," Mr McFarlane said.
A statewide survey undertaken two weeks into the Greater Sydney lockdown, showed businesses in the Murray region had experienced a 37 per cent drop in revenue, while Riverina businesses reported a 38 per cent decline.
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Comparatively, both Murray and Riverina businesses reported just a 21 per cent drop in revenue two weeks into the March 2020 lockdown.
The survey showed businesses statewide have on average just a month's cash reserve.
In the report Business NSW notes the Greater Sydney lockdown was initially only meant to last for weeks "rather than the indefinite period that has emerged".
Mr McFarlane said the situation in Canberra would likely influence any decision made around lockdown in the Riverina-Murray.
"I certainly hope if we remain case-free we come out of this very quickly for the future survival of our businesses," he said.
Business NSW wants the government to allocate adequate resources to the processing of business grant applications to ensure funds can be delivered swiftly.
Mr McFarlane said it's vital the government acts agilely to make sure financial assistance is correctly calibrated.
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