The life and soul of Sydney is just weeks away from terminal damage if the city's Covid lockdown goes into a devastating second month, business leaders warn.
Up to 20 per cent of Sydney's businesses - both big and small - will go to the wall and snuff out the city's vibrant identity if restrictions are extended again, they say.
Melbourne's business community admits it is still in deep strife after Victoria's four lockdowns left the city's famous lifestyle and culture in tatters.
The city's once bustling restaurants and cafes now lie empty or critically underused despite relaxed restrictions and owners say the CBD is a ghost town.
Now the Sydney retail and hospitality industry fears that crisis foreshadows what it too will face if lockdown drags on.Insurance Loans Mortgage Attorney Credit Lawyer
The life and soul of Sydney is just days away from terminal damage if the city's Covid lockdown goes into a second month, business leaders have warned. Seen here is the city's Rocks area which has become a ghost town under lockdown, say locals
'Around one in five businesses say they only have enough cashflow to get them through the next month of operations,' Business NSW chief executive Daniel Hunter said.
'An extended lockdown will see businesses close down, and unlikely to reopen.'
NSW Health reported see-sawing Covid case numbers this week, doubling or halving from day to day from a low of 16 to a high of 37.
But with 38 cases recorded on Thursday - the highest of the outbreak so far - concerns are growing the lockdown will be extended again beyond the new July 16 date.
Up to 20 per cent of Sydney's businesses - both big and small - will go to the wall and snuff out the city's vibrant identity if restrictions are extended again, they say. Pictured here is Ron Danieli at his Cafe Danieli in The Rocks
Business NSW Chief Executive Daniel Hunter (pictured) has warned an extended lockdown will see businesses close down and unlikely to reopenInsurance Loans Mortgage Attorney Credit Lawyer
And with limited government support under the new restrictions - costing businesses an estimated $1 billion a week - the fear of a further extension sent a chill through the heart of the city's business owners.
They've told Business NSW the two-week lockdown has already had as big an impact on them as the two-month lockdown last year when most of the nation closed down from mid-March to mid-May as Covid first spread across the globe.
'This time around there's no JobKeeper to help cushion the fall,' Mr Hunter said.
'While the NSW Government has always balanced the health and economic outcomes of this pandemic, there's no hiding that this will be a huge blow for business, big and small, right across the NSW economy.
'That will have a huge impact on our society – not only in the loss of