The Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) has penned a letter to NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian urging the government to lend a hand to the hospitality sector.

“We’re calling on the NSW Government to provide immediate support to our sectors as well as a roadmap for the future so that they don’t continue to operate blindly,” says NTIA Chair Justine Baker.

The group has called for a number of initiatives including providing wage subsidies for employees, including visa holders, to ensure operators are able to retain staff through the lockdown and remain in business during the recovery period.

The letter also calls for the reinstatement of the rent moratorium and delayed payment schemes for federal and state taxes including payroll tax and BAS as well as flexible work arrangements under Schedule J of the Hospitality Award, which will allow employers and employees to negotiate work hours, locations and duties.

Along with the development of a clear roadmap to reopening and recovery in collaboration with the industry, the NTIA is also asking the government to lower the $75,000 minimum earning threshold for the COVID-19 Support Grant.

“The COVID-19 Support Grant of up to $10,000 is welcomed, but is simply not even close to what is needed to help keep businesses afloat through an extended lockdown and the heavily restricted rebuild period,” says Baker.

“Our members report that small hospitality and performance businesses are burning up to $25,000 per week, and larger businesses losses range from $150,000 to $1.2 million per week.”

The introduction of a licensed venue grant scheme that will provide scalable support to venues based on their patron capacity, annual turnover and venue location has also been put forward.

“Our members do not have businesses that can be turned on and off easily, nor quickly,” says Baker

“They are the first businesses to shut down and the last to reopen.”

Image credit: Time Out