The state government is set to announce additional financial support measures for businesses on Wednesday as part of the extended lockdown, with many businesses and casual workers hoping for some much-needed relief.
Premier Daniel Andrews announced on Tuesday that the lockdown would be extended for at least another week after its planned deadline of 11.59pm Tuesday night.
Mr Andrews said the lockdown could not be lifted while there were positive cases out in the community while infectious.
However, businesses will now have to deal with being either closed or operating under heavy restrictions and some workers without shifts for another seven days.
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From Friday, workers who have lost more than eight hours of work will be able to access federal government support for work lost during the first five days of lockdown.
Commerce Ballarat chief executive Jodie Gillett said thousands of casual employees were not receiving shifts through lockdown. "It's absolutely critical that the response and the support that comes from the government is immediate," she said.
"We have people who have missed hours in the last five days who haven't had any pay, who have rent to pay, who need to put food on their table and currently they can't apply for that support until Friday so the response next to be way more immediate to support those people in such terrible circumstances."
Dylan Lesock, who owns cleaning company Clarke Clean and gym The Underground Movement, said the lockdown was costly, with wages to be paid for staff at both businesses, including the gym's contractor coaches.
"We will continue to pay their base pay, what they normally invoice us, so we're out of pocket that money, but we made a moralistic choice that we can't just stop-start, stop-start their income because of these lockdowns so we've made a call to keep paying them," he said.
"On top of that is the combined stress of trying to maintain income coming in. You've either got to provide a comparable online service so you can keep charging their weekly direct debit for their membership or in some cases, they want to freeze it for that duration of the lockdown.
"The cleaning company, it's just a massive cash flow headache because even a one-week lockdown shuts down all of our hospitality venues, all of our non-essential businesses, which probably makes up 70 per cent of our company, so we lose 70 per cent of our turnover while maintaining 100 per cent of our wages."
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Strength and conditioning coach at The Underground Movement said any lockdown was difficult with gyms the first to close and last to reopen.
"With the last lockdown, we had no work so that meant no pay at all and with the government programs that they had, there wasn't really any money that we could get," he said.
"I had to reach out to my parents and they helped me out with things like rent through the lockdown, which was frustrating. Now, I've got myself onto a JobSeeker payment at Centrelink, that's more of a safety net so that when we do go into lockdown, I've got some money coming in.
"It's pretty frustrating. Especially being a gym, a big thing is member attention and actually getting people into classes and into workouts. When the members are in and out, it's hard to get them into a workout routine which means it's hard for us to have consistent work."
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