The Executive Director of the Australian Retailers Association, Russell Zimmerman, today congratulated the Morrison government on its $17.6bn Coronavirus stimulus package, saying it will “soften the blow” for retailers.

Speaking after the government’s announcement, Mr Zimmerman said the overall effect of the package – which will provide cash flow relief for small and medium businesses, and help shore up the jobs of their employees – was a helping hand to retailers facing a downturn after drought, bushfires, floods, and now Coronavirus.

“Retailers have faced an almost perfect storm this summer, with a series of natural disasters, and now the Coronavirus and difficult economic conditions now posing the real risk of an economic slump, so we certainly welcome the government’s stimulatory measures,” Mr Zimmerman said.

“Alongside direct payments to lower income households, we think this package delivers a cash injection where it’s needed most, and this will help retailers withstand any hit to their trade in the short term,” he added.

Mr Zimmerman congratulated the government for acting quickly and targeting support to low income earners, as this cohort is likeliest to spend the money rather than save it, and this should boost retail turnover.

“I urge consumers to make purchases such as buying new clothes, footwear, and other items as winter sets in, and to know that by making these purchases they are also helping protect the jobs and businesses of their fellow Australians,” he said.

Mr Zimmerman said the government’s initiative positioned the Australian economy to weather any potential Coronavirus-related downturn by consolidating jobs, securing apprenticeships, and boosting investment.

“We’re glad to see government support for employment, and wage subsidies for trainees and apprentices in small business – backdated to 1 January – will ensure young people remain in jobs,” Mr Zimmerman said.

Mr Zimmerman said changes to the instant asset write-off would also help them continue to trade during an international crisis whose consequences are still only beginning to be fully felt.

“The ARA looks forward to working with the Morrison government to consolidate the impact of its stimulus initiative, and looks forward to further assistance measures in the upcoming Budget,” Mr Zimmerman concluded.

ENDS…for more details: Tim Janczuk (m) 0431 045 373 (e)

About us: founded in 1903, the Australian Retailers Association is Australia’s largest retail association, representing a $325bn sector employing more than 1.3m people. As Australia’s premier retail body, the ARA works to ensure retail success by informing, protecting, advocating, educating and saving money for its 7,500 independent and national retail members. To learn more, visit or call 1300 368 041.

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