The nationwide shutdown of “non-essential” businesses has put Australia’s hospitality industry at unprecedented risk. And while venues are currently permitted to continue trading by offering takeaway and home delivery services, the last few days have proven that for many owners and operators – including some of the city’s largest hospitality conglomerates – adapting to the new restrictions simply isn’t viable. Profits have plummeted, staff members have been stood down and doors have been temporarily closed.
As Time Out Sydney’s Food and Drink Editor Matty Hirsch wrote in a letter from the editor on Saturday, gestures like “purchasing a voucher or placing an order from your favourite venues are easy ways to make an immediate impact, but no number of takeaway meals or pre-batched cocktails will be long-term solutions. Political action is not just necessary – for many it is the only option.”
In response, the Night Time Industries Association (NTIA), chaired by Time Out Australia’s Managing Director, Michael Rodrigues, has launched the Keep Our Venues Alive campaign, calling for government support for the hospitality sector. Take a moment to show your solidarity by signing the petition urging:
- Work with councils to suspend business rates on venues for at least three months
- Financial provision for all venue staff (including casual staff) and self-employed operators who cannot work for at least three months
- Tax relief for the hospitality, arts, culture and recreational sectors for at least three months
- Landlords to provide rent holidays to such businesses for at least three months
- Insurers to cover closures of businesses and cancellations of festivals and events due to the pandemic
- The creation of a fund to support businesses that are forced to close or cease trading
If you’re a venue owner, staff member or supplier you can also share the story of how your livelihood has been impacted. More numbers, insights and information will lead to a timelier and more effective response and potential solution.
We here at Time Out are strongly invested in our vibrant city’s inclusive and diverse culture, and fully believe that we can, and will, get through these testing times. With your help, the spaces and faces that make Sydney a truly world-class drinking and dining destination will get there, too.