Business relief welcomed

Diamond Palace Seafood & BBQ Restaurant has closed permanently. (Tara Murray)

Tara Murray

A local business association has welcomed new support for businesses doing it tough due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The state and federal governments last week announced a jointly funded package to help businesses, including reintroducing the commercial tenancy relief scheme to help provide rent relief.

Sunshine Business Association’s Tracy Cammock said rent relief would be vital for many businesses.

“Rental relief has been a big thing we’ve been talking about,” she said.

“Some Sunshine businesses have had some trouble paying the rent and the rental relief is welcome.

“It’s the biggest help for local businesses. We just hope the landlords pass it on, as last time a lot didn’t pass it on.”

Ms Cammock said COVID restrictions had limited the assistance the association was able to offer businesses.

She said the association had been trying to ensure that all the businesses were QR code compliant with government rules and regulations.

Vicinity Centres regional manager Andria Carniato said they were committed to helping there businesses at Sunshine Marketplace.

“We’re committed to looking after our retail partners, as we have throughout the pandemic, it’s not only the right thing to do, it’s in our interests.

“We are very grateful for the ongoing support of our retail partners and passionate community at Sunshine Marketplace.”

The new funding package is too late for one Sunshine business, Diamond Palace Seafood & BBQ Restaurant.

The Hampshire Road restaurant posted a sign in the shop window, saying that the business has been closed permanently.

One of the co-owners told Star Weekly that the pandemic had played a big role in the decision.

“It was a difficult decision,” she said.

“It was a combination of different things. COVID, the lease and rent, it was all too much. COVID meant the business was running as half a business and the rent kept increasing with CPI and we couldn’t afford it.

“The shop has been open for almost 40 years. It’s a very sad moment.”