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‘You’re on your own’: Struggle of CBD businesses flies under government radar 

Article image for ‘You’re on your own’: Struggle of CBD businesses flies under government radar 

Businesses operating in the Brisbane CBD continue to face unprecedented challenges to stay afloat with next to no government help. 

Numerous owners have reported coronavirus restrictions leave a lasting sting long after lockdowns have been lifted.

Coronavirus has transformed the once bustling city into what Neil Breen describes as “dead set like a ghost town”.

Troy Beard owns Hallelujah Shoe Works on Adelaide Street, which operates out of an Energex-owned building. 

He told Neil despite running the business successfully for two decades, the last year and a half has been a struggle.

“Yes, while locked down, you’ll get help from the government, but it’s five, six weeks afterwards, it’s still bad.

“As soon as the mask is on, it’s ‘oh, I’ll just stay home’.

Mr Beard contacted his landlord, Energex, to acquire some rent relief, but was told to contact the state government about a small business grant.

But he says a one-off payout isn’t enough.

“If we go bust, that’s three families affected.”

Press PLAY below to hear the full interview 

Following Neil’s chat with Mr Beard, Clare Wallace, who owns Montrachet in Bowen Hills, called the open line to tell her experience.

Ms Wallace was frustrated to hear the People’s Day public holiday has been rescheduled for October 29.

“We still can’t have a full dining room, so it actually doesn’t make any sense for us to open,” she told Neil.

“It feels like a slap in the face.”

She agreed all levels of government still need to come to the table.

“The only discussion they’ve had with us is… well, there isn’t any, really.

“You’re on your own. It’s been made very clear that you’re on your own.”

Press PLAY below to hear Clare’s full chat with Neil Breen

Image: Getty 

Neil Breen
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