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The National Retail Association (NRA) is urging Australians to roll up their sleeves for small businesses and get vaccinated, declaring it the only way to end sudden lockdowns.

This afternoon the Victorian Government announced a week-long round of restrictions, meaning Australia’s three largest cities are now in lockdown.

NRA CEO Dominique Lamb said that if all Australians do their part they can end the pandemic.

“Australians 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 who have supported small business throughout the pandemic. But we just can’t keep living like this forever and the Prime Minister says a 70 per cent vaccination rate is the trigger to end the lockdowns.

“We now have Australia’s three largest cities – Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane – all in lockdown. We need every Australian 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.”

“So the message of retailers today is very clear – please roll up your sleeves for your local small business.”

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 Melbourne – 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.”