The more remote a place is the worse the effect of the self-enforced lockdown NSW people have put themselves in according to Peter Price from The Silverton Pub.
Peter Price said he travelled to Birdsville to estimate the effect of the Mundi Mundi Bash on local trade, “I don’t think Broken Hill really know what’s coming, it’s a tsunami of people with the Mundi Mundi Bash.”
“We hear it’s bad in Sydney with everyone staying home and harder to get staff but it’s worse in the Far West and then there’s places like Birdsville where they have no cook and no staff at all,” he added.
Mr Price said that St Patrick’s races come before the Mundi Mundi Bash and he already has a contingency plan for the races he uses every year; family and friends.
“For the numbers of staff we are going to need in March and April we need to start planning how we are going to cope,” he explained.
“The federal government is moving to make it easier for backpackers, but it’s getting them here as well.”
Broken Hill Small Business Association President Dylan Stone said small businesses in Broken Hill are facing tougher times than at the height of COVID last year.
“Last year we had Jobsaver, a NSW initiative to help businesses and many businesses managed to stay afloat with the assistance that gave but this year we don’t have Jobsaver and small businesses in the region are doing it tough,“ Mr Price said.
“There is a tenant support program for businesses but the paperwork is burying people.”
He added “Broken Hill people are coming out to support us, they are fantastic.”
Jacquie Smith from Sussans Shop said, “Sussans struggled to hire staff through the Christmas season and now we have found a casual we don’t have the work.”
The staff here are lucky because we are employed by Sussans but if we were sole traders it would be a whole different story.
The Lollipop Shop luckily is selling a popular school shoe by Saltwater Sandals.
Sole trader and owner of The Lollipop Shop, Michelle McLachlan said “The shoe is in the roman sandal style and at this time of year it is a great item to have as generally shopping is really flat.”
The Small Business Association is approaching Roy Butler and the Minister for Small Business, Eleni Pettinos, to let them know how bad it is and that traders need help now.