Tweed’s staggering JobKeeper figures
A TWEED business boss says a hard border closure between Queensland and NSW would push more desperate firms on to JobKeeper.
The Tweed Shire already has one of the highest rates of businesses on JobKeeper in the country with 50.94 per cent in May registering for the Federal Government wage subsidy scheme.
That is higher than April's figure of 47.79 per cent.
Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young has warned the border may be slammed shut and exemptions such as the border bubble eliminated, if cases in lower NSW creep north.
Tweed Shire councillor Warren Polglase, who is president of the Tweed Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said while the JobKeeper figures were bad they could get worse if there was a hardening of the border.
"If you have a hard border lockdown the effect would be horrendous (on JobKeeper numbers)," he said.
"We have 21,000 people travelling across the border every day."
Cr Polglase said part of the reason more than one in every two businesses in the Tweed were on JobKeeper was because of the massive importance of the clubs sector to the shire.
"The club industry employs a lot of people (in the Tweed).
"They would have a few thousand people on it at least. These are organisations like Twin Towns Services Club and local bowls clubs."
Cr Polglase said when the clubs were forced to close due to COVID-19 it had a "domino effect" on their suppliers, which were largely local businesses.
"They then have to put their own staff on JobKeeper because the clubs aren't sending business their way."
Analysis of Australian Bureau of Statistics and Treasury data by consultancy Taylor Fry shows the Tweed isn't the only region where JobKeeper registrations are soaring.
It says registrations on the Gold Coast increased from 40.84 per cent of all businesses in April to 43.39 per cent in May.
In the Scenic Rim, they increased from 30.46 per cent to 33.07 per cent and 60.39 per cent to 64.79 per cent in Byron Bay.
Council of Small Business Organisations Australia CEO Peter Strong urged Gold Coasters to support small business during COVID-19.
"This analysis from Taylor Fry shows the scale of the challenges being faced by small businesses, especially those with exposure to the tourism sector," he said.
"So whether it's for meal deliveries, shopping for groceries, getting some accounting work done or some maintenance on your home or place of work, consider how you can support your community and go local first."
Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced last month that the wide-ranging JobKeeper stimulus scheme would be retained beyond September, albeit at a reduced rate.
Originally published as Tweed's staggering JobKeeper figures