'We have been forgotten,' say northern beaches businesses
Business owners on Sydney's Northern Beaches fear they won't survive the summer after confirmation the region's lockdown will be extended.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian yesterday announced the northern part of the area would remain under strict stay-at-home rules until at least January 9, due to the ongoing cases being recorded daily.
Business owner Sophie Wilson, of Beaches Lash Co. in Newport, near Avalon where the outbreak is centred said it's "completely devastating" to have to stay shut.
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The beauty industry had been particularly affected, Ms Wilson said, though hairdressers can open.
"We can't even do takeaways," Ms Wilson told Today.
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"We literally have to close. Hair and barbers can stay open but we are closed. It is completely devastating our businesses."
Many businesses had been expecting a bumper Christmas following earlier closures, she said.
"We were fully booked. It was going to get all the businesses out of the red and on track for 2021, " she said.
"I booked everyone in for Christmas Eve and then I had to cancel them, move them to New Year's Eve and then cancel them."
The "lack of information" had been particularly frustrating to beauty business owners, she said.
Ms Wilson admits she "just doesn't know" whether her business will survive the lockdown.
"It depends if the lockdown extends longer and whether we are given any support," she said.
"Obviously, I feel like the Northern Beaches has been a little bit forgotten in terms of support from the government.
"I think everyone is quite scared to be honest. It is the not knowing."
She's now appealing to Ms Berejiklian to offer Northern Beaches businesses a support package similar to what those in Melbourne had access to during Victoria's lengthy lockdown.
"That would really help businesses stay afloat," she said.
"There were many 'For Lease' signs before this even happened so we just really want to stop that happening again."
Northern Beaches Mayor Michael Regan said he has started a petition asking the federal and state governments for help, saying people had approached him "angry and in tears."
He said the area has more small businesses than anywhere else in the nation.
"That's a lot of livelihoods at stake," he told Today.