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Lockdown support for business “imminent”: NSW Premier

NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian has promised “imminent” financial support for the state’s ailing business sector amid warnings the current lockdown could be extended.

“I have been involved in very high level discussions on an ongoing basis [with the Commonwealth government],” Berejiklian said according to the ABC.

“The NSW government has done a lot of work in this regard and I hope to have something to announce within the next couple of days.”

Berejiklian also noted that it will be “almost impossible” for the lockdown to end this coming Friday.

Alongside the state government’s incoming support, Scentre Group said it is looking to extend support to retailers feeling the pain of lockdown within its centres by offering rent deferrals to hard-hit businesses.

“Many have temporarily closed as a result of the health orders while others have decided to close because of the additional limits on movement,” Scentre Group boss Peter Allen said in a statement over the weekend.

“We are committed to working with SME retailers (aggregate annual turnover less than $5 million) to mitigate the short-term cashflow impact on their business during this time through appropriate rent deferral.

“We know from support already provided through the height of the pandemic that this is the cohort of retailers who need assistance. Where needed, we encourage our SME retailers to contact their Westfield centre or Leasing account manager and talk to us about their individual circumstances.”

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