Govt Covid assistance top story of the year, Express most commented

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The biggest story of the year in the ANZ print industry was the Print21 report on the federal government’s assistance package for small businesses, particularly as it applied to printers.

Federal government assistance to business: prime minister Scott Morrison

The second quarter saw the government and print business scramble to stay alive as Covid stopped the economy. With JobKeeper, eviction prevention and a six-month halt on creditor court action the government gave the print industry the means to keep going.

The Express Print & Mail goings on in Queensland – which saw ownership of the business transfer from son to mother, leaving $4.15m worth of debts behind – was the most commented-on story. Print21 was unable to publish many of the comments.

The biggest company story was the Print21 report on the travails of Ovato, with its restructuring scheme also drawing plenty of comments.

The collapse of one of Melbourne’s biggest printers, Waratah, and the subsequent revelation of the alleged sweetheart deal between it and major print buyer World Vision was one of the top ranked stories, as was Bambra Press going into administration, the end of SurePrint, the closure of Sydney Binding, and one-time powerhouse Salmat winding itself up.

The affection for Eastern Press owner Frank Hilliard was clear with news of his passing attracting a high number of printers.

The most unexpected high-ranking stories were those of Sydney print outfit CMP using the Covid downtime to pivot into making stay at hone desks, and Foxcil and Carbon8 turning to manufacturing face visors.

The good, the bad, and the ugly have all featured on the Print21 news bulletins this year, it has been a pleasure to keep you in touch with everything that is going on in this most dynamic of industries.

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