Chief Executive Update 14 July 2021

It was only last week that we were reminded of the beginning of a 112-day lockdown here in Victoria last year and we desperately hope we don’t find ourselves in a similar situation again.

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Today’s COVID-19 case numbers and exposure sites are an extreme concern for Victorian businesses and we are monitoring the situation closely.  

Victorian businesses have great empathy and understanding for our neighbours over the border in New South Wales who are battling a serious COVID-19 outbreak which has, sadly, found its way over the border. It was pleasing to see the Federal and NSW Governments come together on a business assistance package yesterday and we hope this will provide the template for National Cabinet to agree. We need our NSW neighbours back up and running as soon as the current COVID-19 spread is under control.  

Victorian businesses did it extremely tough through the Lockdown Four period. We shut down quickly and responsibly to control the spread, for the good of the entire country, and some businesses were operating under restrictions that stymied their business for six weeks until restrictions were eased last Friday. 

The Victorian Chamber is seeking additional feedback on the impact of Lockdown Four on your business revenue and what further financial assistance, if any, you require. Please keep an eye out in your inbox for a link to a short, three-minute survey that will assist us advocate for targeted and appropriate support on your behalf.  

I have spoken to many business owners over the past year who have made difficult decisions for their business, whether needing to survive extended periods of lockdown, restructure your workforce, or completely change your business model. I encourage you this new financial year to sign up for our free Business Resilience and Mentoring Program, in partnership with the Victorian Government. 

You’ll receive up to four free two-hour sessions with a mentor, guidance to help you make informed decisions about the future of your business and be matched with an industry leader suited to your business needs. We’ve already helped thousands of businesses including Dog&Boy, who were kind enough to speak to us about their experience so far. Applications close in September so please head to our website to read more on the program.  

I am excited to let you know we have recently launched a free roadshow series in partnership with Crown designed to help support Victorian regional businesses rebuild from COVID-19 and offer advice for suppliers on how to win contracts with large vendors. The Victorian Chamber Business Recovery Regional Roadshow is heading to seven different regional locations over two weeks in August to offer support for our valued members and regional businesses who have being doing it tough. I will be visiting some of these locations during the roadshow so please come and say hi! 

Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 situation in Sydney we have had to postpone our Victorian Chamber Presents Alan Joyce event to Friday 8 October. However, we still have numerous events on offer over the coming weeks so head to our website for all the details. 

The NSW situation, and today’s case numbers, have reminded us to remain vigilant and do the right thing to keep COVID-19 under control. Please make sure you are checking in everywhere you go via QR codes, practicing good hygiene and having COVIDSafe Plans in place in your workplaces. 

Regards,  

Paul. 

P.S. Nominations to fill vacancies on the Victorian Chamber Executive Council and the Victorian Chamber Regional Chairpersons for 2022 are open. The official notice of elections and applicable nomination forms are available on the Victorian Chamber website. Nominations close on 21 July 2021. 

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