The Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) is advocating for more support for the NSW on-premise industry, urging the government for immediate relief for the highly impacted businesses in the industry.

Chair Justine Baker said that after speaking to as many association members as possible, it became clear to the NTIA that current support packages are: “insufficient to cover our industries’ needs while in this indefinite lockdown – and also in providing enough security and flexibility for businesses to successfully reopen. More needs to be done.”

On Friday, the NTIA wrote to NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian and other senior ministers from the NSW state government, following on from a letter sent at the start of the lockdown four weeks ago. The new letter states that while the NTIA appreciates and welcomes the current support measures from the state and federal governments, there needs to be more clarity, certainty and relief for the highly impacted industries the association represents.

Within the letter, the NTIA advocates for targeted support for the industry especially because: “For many, this lockdown is far worse than last year as the support ecosystem is not nearly as comprehensive.”

The letter specifically asks the Government to consider these four points:

  1. Developing a wage subsidy scheme for highly impacted businesses (similar to JobKeeper, to maintain the critical employer/employee connection).
  2. Changing the qualifying criteria for the NSW COVID-19 Business Grants and JobSaver so more businesses that have been closed-down can access the relief.
  3. Implementing a six month suspension of the insolvency laws for directors from highly impacted industries, to provide more security.
  4. Establishing a Taskforce within Government to focus specifically on reopening, to ensure a coordinated response and faster approval processes. For example, working towards less red tape for programs such as Alfresco Dining, plus more flexibility in voucher schemes and grants focused on programming entertainment into hospitality venues.

In an update to NTIA members about this letter, Baker said: “We’ve offered to work with the Government in implementing these recommendations, as well as in contributing to drafting the roadmap and guidelines for opening. Our preference is to work together with other industry groups and experts, as well as the Government, to deliver this much-needed guidance.

“This will start with a roadmap similar to that released by the Victorian Government last year, showing what the public health advice and metrics need to be before restrictions can be eased, each step of the way. 

“We understand that our industries need to start planning for the reopening now, and the absence of a clear roadmap makes that virtually impossible.”

In the meantime, the NTIA says it has also had many engaging conversation with the public sector in NSW over the past week, as well as progressive discussions with the Lord Mayor and others at the City of Sydney council.

While these conversations about such work continue, the NTIA has collated a range of helpful resources for the industry here, and encouraged businesses to check in there for information and assistance.

Brydie Allen

Brydie Allen is the Editor of National Liquor News. She has been with Food and Beverage Media since 2019, when she joined the company as a journalist across National Liquor News, Bars & Clubs, The...

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