Printers unlikely to access Vic Covid grants

Comments Comments

Print businesses will not be among the recipients of the Victorian government's $250m support package, as they are able to carry on working, as they are in the essential services category.

Stopping Victoria: Covid-19
Not stopping Victorian print: Covid-19

Printers are still allowed to manufacture, although anyone who can work at home must, including sales and admin staff. Equipment operators can come into work. Any vistors must be logged in and out. All printshops must have an up-to-date Covid-safe plan, and must have communicated that to all staff.

Victorian printers are currently seeing work returning to pre-Covid levels, and are happy to be able to keep on working. They can also work for interstate clients, with no real restrictions on couriers.

However while print businesses can still operate - and letterboxing is now allowed - major print markets including events, tourism and retail (apart from grocers and pharmacies) are closed, throwing a potential spanner in the works of printers, who since the end of the previous lockdown have been, in many cases, buzzing along.

Wayne Eastaugh, managing director of trade house Marvel Binding said, "Talking to our clients around Melbourne there is certainly a sense that business is much better now than it was this time last year. We are running at a good level, which is indicative that the trade as a whole is going well."

Glenn Francis at trade printer CMYKhub said, "We thought orders may die down but it has not been the case at all. Victorian printers are a resilient lot, we're taking it on the chin and carrying on. We are seeing plenty of orders coming in." CMYKhub is working  to its normal delivery schedule for Victoria, and for the rest of the country.

Printers and the rest of the Melbourne community are now dealing with a seven day extension to the latest lockdown, which has seen virtually everything except the workplace close down. The rest of Victoria outside the Melbourne metro area has seen some restrictions eased. The Melbourne restrictions will likley be extended in large part until the Queen's Birthday holiday on 14 July.

The two levels of govertnment are in a war of words, with the Victorian government lashing out at the Commonwealth, believing it should be offering more support. However, the Federal government has hit back, saying it believes it has done enough.

Keiren May,business sustainabilty manager at PVCA said, "All this blame shifting and territory marking by State and Federal Governments is such a folly. We have had over 12 months for them all to get on the same page. Who can tell me who is most at fault that businesses in Victoria are again suffering hardship?"

The initial seven day lockdown will cost the Victorian economy between $700m to $1bn. That lockdown is now extended, as the authorities in Victoria believe lockdown is the best way to deal with the new strains, which the scientists say is more infectious than any that have gone before.

The Victorian government's support package includes $190m to use as $2500 grants for small businesses whose staff could not work from home (with a payroll up to $10m), $41m for grants of $3500 to hospitality venues, and $20m for events venues.

The Real Media Collective advises success of the eased restrictions, with letterboxing now able to be conducted across Victoria throughout the next seven-day lockdown.

Kellie Northwood, CEO, TRMC said, “We had secured print and media in previous submissions to be able to operate as an essential service supply chain provider, however to now ensure letterbox distribution of those printed materials is a good outcome. We have provided to government throughout the entire Covid pandemic our industry’s safety protocols, warehouse style operations and our limitation of staff only into our premises. To have all our member categories secured to operate is a good outcome for our members and we will be issuing a notice to all members highlighting the changes and that we must remain vigilant to ensure our industry can remain open for business.

“Despite the fact we can remain open, which is a great outcome for those with work being pushed through their facilities, any lockdown has a ripple effect on the economy. Several of our Victorian members have communicated they are looking to shut down operations for a period of time. We have been issuing supporting notices in regards to Direction to take Leave as well as Stand Down advice to many members and will publish with all this week,” furthered Northwood.

comments powered by Disqus