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‘Numbing. Surreal’: Businesses in Victoria brace for impact of fourth coronavirus lockdown

On day one of Victoria’s fourth coronavirus lockdown, Melbourne bar, and restaurant owner Greg Sanderson knows the drill.  He has a checklist: break the news to staff, finalize the cancellations from wine events and festivals, and organize how to deal with food spoilage.  Mr. Sanderson said he is bracing himself for an expected financial loss in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.  The reaction was just numbness, to be honest. It has been such a rollercoaster up and down,” he told SBS News.

It is a very numbing, surreal situation to be in again.

Twenty-four hours since they announced the lockdown, there is still no news about any kind of support for us. “It is the unknown – that is a big worry. It is going to be seven days [of lockdown]? Is it going to be thirty days? Are we going to get some support? Acting Victorian Premier James Merlino has not made any commitments to a support package for business but said there would be one

“in the coming days”“. The federal government’s JobKeeper wage subsidy program ended on 28 March, and there is no plan to put in place something similar. As the managing director of The Speakeasy Group, which manages three bars and one restaurant in Melbourne’s CBD, Mr. Sanderson said business had been recovering well – almost to pre-COVID levels.  “We had every week people coming out for big celebrations – so there was heaps of momentum. The demand for venues was excellent.

Let down

But now he is busy finalizing the cancellations.  At the moment, it is just halfway through Australian cocktail month, which has been canceled. Melbourne Rising has been canceled. Food and wine events canceled.

So just as we were getting back into it [this lockdown happens], It’s a massive letdown for event planners, venues, staff. It’s gut-wrenching.” Except for a handful of operations staff that can work from home, most of the 110 employees working across the four business venues are now out of a job. And this time, there is no JobKeeper wage subsidy to help make ends meet.  Victoria investigates two sites for a dedicated quarantine hub

Molly Aronson

Molly Aronson is a 26-year-old government politician who enjoys bowling, running and jigsaw puzzles. She is creative and exciting, but can also be very greedy and a bit greedy.She is an australian Christian who defines herself as straight. She has a post-graduate degree in philosophy, politics and economics. She is allergic to grasshoppers.

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