The Council of Small Business Organisations Australia (COSBOA) held a crisis meeting in Canberra two days ago to discuss a response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) to inform small businesses and consultancies on the issues facing them due to the impending corona virus pandemic. The Australian Council of Professions (ACoP) was a key participant with their reach to over 800,000 professionals including ~500,000 who operate their own business.
Peter Strong, CEO of COSBOA, said today “the small business community is made up of many sectors and millions of people with over 4.5m employees between them. Each industry sector has their own peculiar needs and their own ways of communicating. The professionals of Australia are a key part of the small business community – from engineers, architects, medical specialists and expert consultants to those in the sciences and education – they run their own businesses as sole traders or as employers providing income and activity for many other professionals and support staff. As we face the COVID-19 challenges we will often look to this sector for information, advice and confidence.”
The meeting investigated scenarios where a high level of illness creates staff shortages; where geographic areas are impacted heavily for short periods, creating low consumer and client activity with a resulting lack of business and loss of jobs across that sector of the Australian economy; where the forced closure of public transport creates a crisis for small business; and where employees and/or business owners are forced into quarantine, affecting the viability of the business.
Klaus Veil FACHI FHL7, President of the Australian Council of Professionals, stated “Professionals are disciplined individuals with inherent ethical standards who can be relied upon in times of stress and worry. We and our professional member associations will work closely with other COSBOA association members to add value to responses to the COVID-19 crisis and also better inform our own members on actions and activities that will assist professionals deal with whatever difficulties the virus brings to local communities. Professionals will have expertise in many areas that are vital to managing current and future community needs.”