Restrictions might be starting to ease, but the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic continues… how has it affected you?
It’s becoming very clear that many businesses, particularly those in retail, have been and will continue to be hit very hard by restrictions aimed at reducing the spread of COVID-19 in the community.
As of Friday, Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced that these restrictions will be relaxed in three stages.
But in some pharmacies, a lot of damage has already been done. This week David Heffernan, president of the NSW Branch of the Pharmacy Guild, told the AJP that pharmacy businesses are struggling.
“We [at the Guild] are getting constant reports of pharmacists being stressed, pharmacy owners being stressed… not just through the workload but also the flipside of that: now, after the crazy buying is over, they’re stressed about the lack of traffic while they’re still paying high rents,” he said.
“That was an initial sugar hit but it’s a ghost town in many shopping centres now, and pharmacy owners are looking at their books and wondering how they’re going to survive. They’re filling out JobKeeper forms and facing hard decisions.”
And in April, commercial rental expert Phil Chapman, director of retail leasing authority Lease1, told the AJP that while pharmacies in strip shopping centres were generally holding up well, those in shopping centres had been “highly exposed to the massive fallout of shops closing around them”.
As early as March, just after restrictions had been announced, the Pharmacy Guild’s Trent Twomey was warning at the APP2020 Online digital conference that COVID-19 would have a “deflationary” impact, and not only in the short term.
We’d like to know how the economic side of the pandemic is hitting you – or if it’s helped. Whether you’re a pharmacy owner or an employee, let us know in our poll below: just tick as many boxes as apply.