Road to Recovery: Startups struggle to survive without government financial support nearly two years into pandemic


In this week’s segment of Road to Recovery with Douglas Magazine, CHEK’s Jasmine Bala chats with Peter Wood, director of Bear & Joey Cafe in Victoria.

Bear & Joey Cafe is nestled on the border of Downtown and Fairfield, inspired by Sydney’s cafe culture. It opened in July 2020, only a few months into the COVID-19 pandemic.

Federal financial support programs have been critical in supporting small businesses through the pandemic, but Wood says businesses like his don’t qualify for the funds.

Wood, along with another restaurant owner, created a site called Save our Startups, aimed at bringing together new businesses in similar situations and highlighting their plight to prompt legislative action.

READ MORE: Road to Recovery: Victoria cafe pushes for federal financial support after opening at start of pandemic

“After 19 months, I and 2020 businesses [committed pre-pandemic] are now begging for federal help,” Wood said. “We have been operating in this climate for 19 months no with no support from the federal government.”

The government announced expanded access to funding this month, but Wood says it still excludes startups and his business won’t be able to survive like this for much longer.

Wood discusses in this episode what impacts the pandemic has had on startups, what he’s calling for from the federal government, and what people can do to help.

Road to Recovery is done in partnership with Douglas Magazine.

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Jasmine BalaJasmine Bala

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