Business ups the ante as government assistance stalls

DISSATISFIED CUSTOMERS: South Murwillumbah business owners meet with NSW Business Chamber CEO Stephen Cartwright (left) calling for more financial support.
DISSATISFIED CUSTOMERS: South Murwillumbah business owners meet with NSW Business Chamber CEO Stephen Cartwright (left) calling for more financial support. Contributed

THE call for more government assistance is growing louder among businesses in South Murwillumbah.

New South Wales Business Chamber CEO Stephen Cartwright, who visited the region on Monday, said both the Federal and State Governments needed to act, especially while insurance companies are assessing the damage.

"The most critical thing is for State and Federal Governments to declare the area a Category C disaster,” Mr Cartwright said.

"At the moment, it's only a Category A, which only offers a limited level of financial government support.

"If they can have it declared, then that gives the capacity for the governments to step in to provide financial assistance and grants.”

Mr Cartwright said without the government activating the Category C disaster relief plan, many people would be impacted by the potential business closures throughout the shire."Some of these businesses are big employers in Murwillumbah,” Mr Cartwright said after meeting with businesses like O'Connors Transport in South Murwillumbah.

"The livelihoods of the broader community are effected here.”

The Chamber has been working with governments to ensure extra flood relief is provided.

Mr Cartwright said 700 responses to a survey issued by the Chamber were handed to the Government on Monday, providing a clearer picture of what's going on. "The Government now has enough data to make the decision,” he said, explaining he'd like to see specific tax requirements for businesses waived as they try to get back on their feet.

Meanwhile, businesses are calling on the community to shop local. "They really need to show support as the shops are open again,” Mr Cartwright said.

Topics:  cyclone debbie cyclone debbie government assistance south murwillimbah floods south murwillumbah tweed flood tweed flood 2017

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