Townsville lockdown

Queenslanders have been urged to roll up their sleeves for local small businesses, with the National Retail Association warning that higher vaccination rates were the only way to end sudden lockdowns.

As Queensland is plunged into yet another snap three-day closure, NRA Chief Executive Officer Dominique Lamb said small businesses needed all Queenslanders to do their part to end the pandemic.

“Queenslanders have shown they are more than willing to help out local small businesses right throughout the worst parts of the COVID-19 response – prioritising local small business and spending money to help retailers stay afloat,” Ms Lamb said.

“We appreciate the efforts of so many people who decided to get their groceries, morning coffee or a takeaway meal from a local small business owner.

“But we just can’t keep living like this forever. The Prime Minister says a 70 per cent vaccination rate is the trigger to end the lockdowns.

“Sadly, Queensland has been reported as having the highest vaccine hesitancy rate. So the message of retailers today is very clear – please roll up your sleeves for your local small business.

“We need every Queenslander to do their part so we can put an end to this cycle of openings and closings and allow local small businesses to simply get on with employing local people and serving their customers.”

Ms Lamb also called on the State and Federal Governments to re-examine options for financial support for affected businesses and workers.

“We know they have done this in New South Wales, and we know there are talks about how it could work nationally. It’s time to just get it done,” Ms Lamb said.

“Right now in affected areas of Queensland, restaurants, cafes and other fresh food vendors will be throwing out perfectly good produce that they won’t be able to sell due to the lockdown.

“Other businesses such as hairdressers and small specialty retailers will be forced to go without income for the next three days at least.

“They need help to survive, and we are calling on both levels of Government to step up and provide it.”