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Business leader urges people to get behind country shops

Published: (Updated: ) in Australian News by .

At the start of a state-wide shutdown of non-essential services, a prominent regional business leader said it would have massive implications for those in the hospitality, arts and entertainment industries.

At the start of a state-wide shutdown of non-essential services, a prominent regional business leader said it would have massive implications for those in the hospitality, arts and entertainment industries.

But while cafes, hotels and restaurants continue trade via takeaway only, Angus Edwards, a former business chamber president, said staying open may be unviable.

"For many businesses, redundancies are on the cards," Mr Edwards said.

"They're looking at whether they can keep staff on at all."

Mr Edwards said businesses should weigh up different solutions before sacking any staff.

Reduced hours, changes to opening times and leave options could help, he said.

But if a redundancy was being considered, affected staff should be consulted first, Mr Edwards added.

Longer term, he recommended businesses enact a continuity plan.

"Certainly, casual employees simply aren't going to be offered any work in a number of businesses," he said.

"If we get to a position where there's a full shutdown, that will just have a really drastic effect on many, many local businesses."

In Bathurst, café workers began packing up outdoor dining areas before new lockdown laws hit at midday on Monday.

Some cafes and restaurants are keeping chairs and tables outside, although separated by 1.5 metres to observe social distancing.

Mr Edwards hoped the aroma of coffee or the welcoming blackboards placed out the front of coffee shops, cafes and hotels would remind locals to keep spending.

He's encouraged the local community to get behind their regular go-tos, to support the many local businesses in regional areas that are still recovering from the economic impact of the drought.

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"Make sure you grab some takeaway and really support them now more than ever."

Source: 9News https://www.9news.com.au/national/coronavirus-country-business-struggle-bathurst/ef49d1bb-32ea-4543-9e7e-fb6feba08746

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