It’s been heartbreaking to see so many local businesses temporarily closed, and to see local people losing their jobs due to coronavirus.
There is no doubt that times will be tough for many of us. But with the right supports, and with everyone doing the right thing, we can get through this as a community.
Our Economic Development Unit has been doing some great work helping local businesses find information about government supports.
They have pulled together information on the Victorian Business Support Fund and the new Federal JobKeeper payments, which is available on our website. Of course, you can call the team to find out more on 5032 3033 and I encourage you to do so.
It was good to see the JobKeeper program announced this week. It gives staff from impacted businesses some much-needed financial certainty. And it gives businesses the chance to hold on to those staff for when all this is over.
Another thing that I ask people to think about is that we are a strong agricultural area and even during this pandemic, our ag sector will be looking for people to work on farms.
Farmers are food producers. None of us can go a day without needing the food farmers produce. That will not change.
Just this week I saw a local organic farm advertising online for a number of people – like a forklift driver and farm hand.
Fruit growers will be looking for pruners in the next few months, and many many jobs need to be filled there.
What I am trying to illustrate is that yes, this is a tough time. Businesses are struggling, individuals will be hit financially, and our social connections have been turned on their heads.
But there are mechanisms in place to help, and opportunities for some jobs still available locally, even if it’s not what you are used to doing.
With these different supports and opportunities, our community will get through this.
For now, please stay informed from trusted sources, stay safe and stay home. I will talk to you all again soon.