SYDNEY – The Australian Parliament has spent 130 billion Australian dollars or $ 80 billion on the current wage subsidy package designed to help businesses retain their workforce throughout coronavirus crisis.
Called JobKeeper, the package, which was ratified Wednesday night in a special sitting day of the Federal Parliament currently suspended in Canberra, will generate 1,500 Australian dollars, or $ 927, every two weeks distributed to around 6 million workers over the next six months and is equivalent to 70 percent of Australia’s average wage.
The payment program, which applies to sole traders and full-time, part-time and long-term workers who have worked with employers for more than 12 months on March 1, is part of 213.7 billion Australian dollars, or $ 132 billion, in the package economic stimulus and other assistance measures that have been issued to date by the federal government in response to the crisis. Excluding the additional 50 billion Australian dollars, or $ 31 billion, thrown by the state government and 90 billion Australian emergency dollars, or $ 56 billion, funding facilities opened by the Reserve Bank of Australia to encourage banks to provide credit to small businesses and middle. sized business.
“This is the biggest economic crisis that has befallen the world in many generations; We have responded with the largest economic lifeline in Australian history, “Prime Minister Scott Morrison told Parliament on Wednesday.
At the time of this writing there were 6,109 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Australia, and 51 deaths. Border closure, increased testing and strict social distance measures are likely to help.
According to the S&P Global rating agency, which has placed Australia’s AAA credit rating under negative scrutiny, the economic impact of COVID-19, especially response costs, will plunge the country into recession for the first time in almost 30 years. According to Roy Morgan Research, the crisis was the biggest shock to the Australian economy since World War II.
The closure of all non-essential services from March 23 saw the closure of thousands of businesses and stores facing consumers across the country and an additional 1.4 million people unemployed overnight.
Among the shop closures were RM Williams, Cotton On Group, Mecca Brands, Rip Curl, Kathmandu, Zara, H&M, Uniqlo, Cue Clothing Company, Myer department store chain and Country Road Group, which is owned by Woolworths South Africa. The latter has kept all 46 of David Jones’s large format department stores open for the time being, while closing two small shops in Sydney and Brisbane – although Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Prada, and others have closed their concept boutiques inside DJ’s main flagships. .
Other relief measures available for small and medium-sized businesses with a turnover of less than 50 million Australian dollars, or $ 31 million, including 100,000 Australian dollars, or $ 61,807, increased tax free cash flow and unsecured bank loans of 250,000 Australian dollars, or $ 154,517. Announced on April 7, the new COVID-19 Commercial Code of Conduct will make landowners obliged to reduce commercial rent in line with the decrease in income experienced by tenants due to the crisis.
According to the closure of the Australian Retail Association Association stores have affected about 40 percent of 1.3 million Australian retail workers.
“From the perspective of the retail industry, we 1,000 percent support the JobKeeper package,” said ARA executive director Russell Zimmerman.
“There are many packages given by the federal and state governments there,” Zimmermann said. “You get things like land tax that will be returned, salary reduction. There are so many opportunities for people to see how they can delay things or how they can get a vacation for certain things, so there are many things that happen. I think there is a good will from the industry, employees, employers, landlords … everyone is trying to work together through various things. This country has never seen anything like it, so scary. Spanish flu, no one remembers. “
To get better handling of specific impacts on the fashion sector, on Friday, in collaboration with McKinsey & Co., Australian Fashion Board launched the COVID-19 impact survey across industries, with an April 15 deadline for responses.
The results will be due in a few weeks, but based on anecdotal feedback to date from 500 members, the organization anticipates there will be a 50 percent decline in industry revenue for fiscal 2020, which ends on June 30, AFC chief executive officer Leila Naja Hibri told WWD . Beyond zero clarity about when closure will end, there is also the problem of canceling “productive” orders, he said.
“Even when some stores were still open, they reported a decline in sales of between 60 and 80 percent,” Naja Hibri said. “In some cases, they will experience days where they have no sales and then have some returns and come out with negative cash flow.”
To help members through the crisis, AFC has organized an educational webinar series and became an active participant in the retail round table launched four weeks ago by Perth retailer Richard Poulson, one of the founders of the Morrison fashion chain.
A kind of virtual COVID-19 fashion war council, Poulson’s round table has gathered nearly 100 fashion brands to discuss issues, strategies and ideas for survival, meeting weekly with Zoom, with as many as 60 participants.
Participating brands include Ellery, We Kindred, Aje, Bassike, The Daily Edited, Camilla, Nobody Denim, Nique, Ginger & Smart, Matteau and R.M. Williams.
Previously on track to generate more than 12 million Australian dollars, or $ 7.4 million, in fiscal 2020 revenue, Poulson estimates his own business will take 30 percent of revenue revenue for fiscal 2020. The 10 Morrison stores have closed, around 50 the staff has stood down and Poulson also canceled wholesale orders.
Poulson estimates that among the brands he spoke with, at least 2.7 million Australian dollars, or $ 1.7 million, in wholesale orders based in Australia have been canceled, excluding international orders.
Among the ideas that emerged from the Zoom meeting was a campaign called #WeWearAustralian, which will run from 9 to 30 April via the wewearaustralian.com pop-up website, which aims to help Australian brands shift current season inventory.
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as an Australian label designed and created, the bassike is proud to be a part of the #wewearaustralia campaign throughout April. like many others, the Australian fashion industry and the thousands of people it employs are currently under threat, so to raise awareness and to continue to support Australian designers and makers in these uncertain times, we have joined friends and local industry to encourage our community to shop locally first. more than ever we are proud to be designed and made in a sustainable and ethical way in australia. supporting bassike means continuing to support many of the local family and industry businesses that have been part of the bassike story, from the start. bassike.com remains fully operational, and we invite you to receive a further 30% discount on bassike sales * until midnight 30 April including new and existing price reductions. enter the code wwa2020 at checkout to redeem the offer. to reflect your support, bassike will make a donation to @thread_together, which helps people in need in our community. through its mission to regain fashion, reduce landfills and renew dignity in collaboration with the fashion industry and not for non-profit organizations that provide clothing for people in need, with the opportunity to choose clothing that best suits their personal circumstances and style. #wewearaustralia #bassike #sin continuablymade #madeinaustralia
Poulson was also in discussions with Tmall Alibaba for a pop-up e-commerce store for the Australian collection.
“It’s about dragging everyone through,” said Poulson, who welcomed the government’s JobKeeper program as a means of “truly opening up opportunities to bring back some of our people and to ensure the longevity of their work.”
He added, “I think it’s really time for all to get together, evaluate the situation together and really just try to innovate and find news ways to do business, new channels and new opportunities through open discussion.”
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Where now too? What is the other side like? Can we inspire each other to reorganize another world? Create a real goal for this space? Unprecedented opportunities now exist for social and economic renovations centered on the creativity, health, and prosperity of people and the planet. Fewer items, longer love, better buy and support locally. #wewearaustralian is an initiative to raise awareness for those in the Australian fashion industry that have been severely affected by the current global epidemic. The Australian fashion industry joins to help women in our community get back to work as we go through this crisis together, @kitx is proud to support Thread together to provide quality clothing to people in our community who do it hard. Call for extraordinary talent in our industry ranging from designers, makers, pattern makers, photographers, stylists, and more who create images and fashion that inspire and empower us every day – we are stronger together and I hope we come out with positive change and reform . Thanks to @showroom_x__ for uniting this campaign because WE’RE BETTER TOGETHER #bettertogether #australianfashionunites Images of @alicewesleysmith for @ 10magazineaustralia
Among the brands joining the #WeWearAustralian campaign are the personalized accessory brands in Sydney, The Daily Edited, whose co-founder and creative director Alyce Tran temporarily closed 12 stores in Australia and New York and dropped 80 retail team members.
Tran said he expects a 30 to 40 percent year-on-year decrease in sales for 2020, which he had previously projected to be 28 million Australian dollars, or $ 17 million.
Although JobKeeper didn’t help with the underlying cash flow problem and many problems, including rent, were still in flux, Tran said, he felt hopeful – “so far.”
“That [JobKeeper] it is very good for our individual team members and I am very happy that we can convey something to them, “Tran said.” I am optimistic, compared to others. I just think people will always want something and everyone in the industry will be there to serve them and sell products accordingly. “
He added, “Look, something happened and you kind of have to keep going and see if you can get past it all and go to the other side.”
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