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COVID-19 forces closure of more than half of Victoria’s Indigenous businesses

18 May 2020 Victoria’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander business sector is in severe decline from the impact of COVID-19 according to the preliminary findings of a survey by the sector’s peak body. Kinaway Chamber of Commerce said it began comprehensively surveying its 150 members early this year, initially in response to Victoria’s bushfire crisis, and then during the ongoing pandemic. Kinaway Chair, Karen Milward, said the survey had revealed a sector in serious trouble with more than 22% of businesses immediately ceasing operations in March 2020. “We expect that figure to have increased significantly by now with the survey predicting that by the end of May 58% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander owned businesses in Victoria would be closed,” said Ms Milward. “Nearly every business surveyed said they would not remain operating beyond three months of the March lock downs.” “This is a catastrophe that eclipses even the…

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