UNCERTAINTY around the continuation of JobKeeper has left Central West business owners worrying about their staff and the future.
More than 7400 applications by businesses in the region have been processed for the wage subsidy, but the scheme is due to end on September 30.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Wednesday JobKeeper payments would continue in some form, but he is not due to issue details of phase two until July 23.
At Factory Espresso owner Ruby Gleeson said they are as ready as they can be for the end of JobKeeper.
... if we have to go into lockdown again that would have a significant impact.Factory Espresso owner Ruby Gleeson
"I think we are well prepared if things keep going along as is," she said.
"If things happen that are out of our control it could negatively impact us, or if we have to go into lockdown again that would have a significant impact."
The cafe is one of 1301 Orange businesses that applied for JobKeeper.
Factory Espresso never closed during the lockdowns and continued to offer takeaway in order to serve their customers and keep as many of their 16 staff employed as possible.
"We chose not to close because our employees are dependent on us for their income ... a lot of regulars depend on us for service," Ms Gleeson said.
While trade has slowly picked up at Panthers Bathurst, general manager John Fearnley said the end of JobKeeper will have an impact.
"A lot of younger people are coming in and also people who haven't been in before, but I think older people are a bit more hesitant," he said.
"The stuff in Melbourne has put us back a bit ... if we had to go into a second lockdown that'd knock us around."
The club has 80 staff, but Mr Fearnley said most of its 22 casuals are still not back yet due to a downturn in business.
"We've tried to put the casuals back on that didn't have any other work ... by the end of August or into September we hope to put all our staff back on," he said.
"We're starting to see a little bit of light at the end of the tunnel."
Mr Fearnley said the club has taken a number of event bookings later in the year and is worried about any spike in coronavirus cases in NSW.
"If restrictions changes that will have an impact," he said.
"Our workforce won't be the same as pre-COVID, but we'll have to adjust to that if required."
With a workforce of 230 staff and JobKeeper coming to an end, Dubbo RSL general manager Guy Lico fears what will happen when the initiative finishes.
The RSL is among 1423 businesses in the Dubbo postcode on JobKeeper.
It was probably one of the hardest things I've ever done in my 34 years of management.Dubbo RSL general manager Guy Lico on the COVID-19 lockdown
When coronavirus hit Mr Lico was forced to stand down his entire workforce, including himself, as the hospitality industry struggled.
"It was probably one of the hardest things I've ever done in my 34 years of management," he said.
While the club has now reopened, patronage is far from being back to pre-coronavirus days.
"People are slowly coming back and have more confidence, but there are some people who are not keen to mingle with other people just yet," Mr Lico said.
"I reckon it'll take 18 months to two years before we get on our feet properly."
With the downturn in customers Mr Lico fears what will happen if JobKeeper stops for Dubbo RSL staff and other hospitality workers on September 30.
"It's been a lifesaver for us," he said.
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