While salon owners are likely nervously ticking off says until the JobKeeper payment ends on March 28, the federal government has alluded to the fact that there will be more support to come.

Minister for Finance Simon Birmingham said the government is “looking at targeted types of support for different sectors that might really need it now. We’re still working through analysis around precisely how best to target that. Our best target in terms of sectors, how best target it in terms of supporting the operation of a sector versus also trying to stimulate demand in the sector,” Mr Birmingham said.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg told the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Canberra the JobKeeper program had “served its purpose” and the government was working on continued support for specific industries. “Over the coming weeks we will have more to say on targeted support for various sectors,” Mr Frydenberg said.

While salon owners hold their breath for news, Australian small business and family enterprise ombudsman Kate Carnell reiterated the need for support for small businesses, specifically a revenue-contingent loan system, which would offer low-interest loans that are paid back after a business’ turnover reaches 80% of its pre-COVID-19 levels.

Ms Carnell says revenue-contingent loans are a safe borrowing option for businesses that would also protect them from making loan repayments during forced business closures resulting from future lockdowns.

“My understanding is that they [the federal government] are looking at it,” Carnell says. “Whether it actually comes to pass or not, I think we’ll have to wait.”

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