State's job rescue package immediate roll-out extends to country SA

Naracoorte Hotel/Motel manager Josh Pettman is keen to see his staff supported in the wake of the coronavirus. Photo: Naracoorte Herald archives

Naracoorte Hotel/Motel manager Josh Pettman is keen to see his staff supported in the wake of the coronavirus. Photo: Naracoorte Herald archives

Country pubs and clubs hit by the coronavirus crisis are among the first organisations in the state to be "immediately" salvaged under a multi-million dollar rescue plan.

The bid to support jobs and the industry is being propped up by a whopping $650 million lifeline.

The funds make up the recently announced $1 billion economic stimulus package aimed to ease the cash flow burden on hospitality businesses who have been affected.

Naracoorte Hotel-Motel manager Josh Pettman, who is waiting for final confirmation of package details, has been adapting to the current situation.

Mr Pettman is among hundreds of rural business owners disrupted by trading closures imposed nationally to limit the virus's spread.

Last month, his business, which includes accommodation and a bottle shop, went from employing 44 staff to just six.

"We started with the bars and bistro shutting and then we thought we were going to be all right with take away food and accommodation," he said.,

But a week later Mr Pettman said the food service was costing him more money so he "canned" that decision.

"We had a roadwork crew in for accommodation and that was going okay, but once they left it went to nothing," he said.

Accommodation bookings the business later received were given to the town's stand-alone motels.

Undeterred, Mr Pettman turned his energy to supporting his locals with pre-made foods available through the bottle shop.

He also has borrowed a pie warmer from the local football club to sell hot, homemade pies.

"It is the little wins that get you through," he said.

Mr Pettman who welcomes the state handout said the funds will support his employees who have been on his books for the past 12 months.

"We will try to use that and get some hands back on deck and also for their sanity," he added.

Treasurer Rob Lucas promoted hotels and the hospitality sector as a significant employer in South Australia.

"This temporary tax relief will go some way in helping support our pubs, clubs and hotels through this challenging period," he said.

"We are committed to doing all we can to help secure local jobs and save industry from potential collapse as a result of the biggest economic challenge of our generation."

This story Country pubs and clubs welcome funding relief for their staff first appeared on Naracoorte Herald.