APPA seeks extension of JobKeeper

The full report of findings from APPA's COVID-19 Impact Survey was yesterday made available to APPA members. With this data ready available, APPA now has the strength of evidence to support seeking an extension of the JobKeeper payment scheme for both members and non-members within the promotional products industry.

On Thursday July 2, APPA contacted Kate Carnell AO, the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsmen, to put forward what we believe are our strongest points of contention for this extension to be granted. We are pleased to report that the department responded within less than a few hours to arrange a video conference with APPA CEO Wesley Fawaz in the coming weeks. We will update you as progress occurs.

APPA also reached out to the NZ Minister for Small Business to suggest an extension of the wage subsidy in New Zealand.

The following letter was signed by Wesley and Robert Williams, APPA President, and sent to Ms. Carnell on Thursday July 2:

Dear Ms Carnell

More than 94 percent of the businesses in the promotional products industry are considered to be small businesses—and they face many challenges unique to this business category.

Challenges such as COVID-19, where the industry has suffered a 51 per cent decrease in business revenue year to date compared to last year, with more than one in every four member businesses estimating that drop to have exceeded 70 per cent.

Without an extension of the Government’s JobKeeper arrangement, the promotional products industry will face financial ruin. 40 per cent of the industry are either extremely or fairly worried about their business viability over the next 6-12 months, especially if JobKeeper comes to an end as currently planned in September.

Promotional products are proven to be one of the most cost-effective method to market products and services—particularly for other smaller businesses that have fewer advertising dollars at their disposal.

Promotional products and the messages they carry also help governments at every level keep the Australian public informed and well prepared by providing essential public service information in a timely and reliable manner through the best communication medium possible—promotional products.

Infant sleepwear imprinted with the message, “This side up,” conveys a powerful and life-saving message about sleep safety for vulnerable children. A keychain with a whistle handed out to students during a self-defense class becomes an empowering safety tool. A t-shirt given to children at an outdoor summer program is a memorable, functional keepsake. When the shirt is decorated with a phone number to call if the child is found lost, the imprinted shirt becomes a prudent safety precaution.

A baby onesie, a functional keychain, a promotional t-shirt—they’re communal. They’re life-saving. They’re undeniably effective.

The promotional products industry is heavily linked to the events industry (most business events will include the giveaway of promotional products to attendees) which has been shutdown and as such we fully support the Business Events Recovery Framework as proposed by the Business Events Council of Australia.

The promotional products industry employs more than 20,000 Australians and unless the JobKeeper is extended until at least 31 December 2020, our industry is unable to maintain its large workforce.

As an industry, we want to emerge from the crisis in a position to help build business confidence across the Australian economy and an extension of JobKeeper to our industry will no doubt help facilitate that position.

The federal government are making tough decisions about which industries to support and are currently undertaking a review of JobKeeper, and the promotional products industry appreciates the difficult choices that must be made.

Please keep the unique needs, challenges and interests of the promotional products industry in mind when advocating on behalf of other small business industries to extend JobKeeper.

Thank you for your consideration.

Wesley Fawaz (CEO) and Robert Williams (President)

Australasian Promotional Products Association