Business Horsham's vice chair is preparing for the end of JobKeeper.
Athlete's Foot's Paul Atherton says while some businesses in the city have not suffered due to the pandemic up to this point, the real challenge will come after September when wage subsidies are scheduled to end.
"Some businesses have also had their rents and loan repayments reduced, so around that time landlords will probably be saying it's time to go back to paying them in full," he said.
"Businesses should be talking to their accountants now that we've entered a tax time unlike any other, and I can guess what they will say: If you've got any money you can squirrel away, you should save it for a rainy day."
The JobKeeper scheme, where eligible workers receive a fortnightly payment of $1500 through their employer, was announced by the federal government on March 30. It will end on September 27.
The business employs six people, one of them full time.
Mr Atherton said nationally, the Athlete's Foot had recorded an increase in business since pandemic restrictions hit.
The Mail-Times asked Member for Mallee Anne Webster if she supported calls to extend JobKeeper beyond September. She responded with a statement.
"JobKeeper was for a specific period of time to assist the economy and businesses to continue to operate during the COVID-19 pandemic," she said. "It was a safety net and was intended to assist businesses to stay open and engaged with their employees.
"Going forward, we need the economy to start to open back up and businesses to get back on their feet. This is of course dependent on how the COVID-19 pandemic behaves going forward.
"How JobKeeper finishes and when it finishes are matters for the Treasurer to determine. Tax payers will not be happy to pay for JobSeeker and JobKeeper indefinitely. The economy cannot afford it.
"However, employees must be in a position to pay bills, mortgages and rent. The key to all of this is for businesses to be able to reopen and grow."
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