South Australian businesses have backed an extension of the JobKeeper program, especially for those sectors reliant on international tourism and special events.
A survey conducted for Business SA found 68 per cent of companies want the scheme to continue past its March 28 cut off.
The call comes despite just 30 per cent of local businesses qualifying for the payments in the March quarter this year.
“Business SA encourages the state and federal governments to consider all options available to continue some form of safety net for business owners and their employees whose livelihoods remain under threat,” Chief Executive Martin Haese said.
The survey also pointed to strong business confidence in SA despite the pre-Christmas losses sparked by November’s shutdown because of the Parafield cluster of COVID-19 cases.
While the lockdown lasted just three days, it had a serious impact on retail trade in the lead-up to the holiday season.
“The confidence wave in South Australia continues to build despite ongoing uncertainty around COVID-19,” Mr Haese said.
“To record a jump in confidence in a quarter marred by a hard lockdown and increased restrictions on businesses for much of December, these results are a testament to the resilience of South Australian business owners.
“South Australian consumers are also showing great confidence and supporting their local businesses with almost one in three businesses forecasting trade to be better than their pre-COVID levels through the March quarter.”
However Mr Haese said a group of SA businesses still remained materially impacted by ongoing COVID-19 restrictions with 15 per cent reporting their turnover remained down by more than 50 per cent.