Following on from the Australian Lottery and Newsagents Association’s (ALNA) proactive letter to several Federal Cabinet ministers last week, requesting that they consider Australian newsagents to be an ‘essential service’ and remain open as they have in France and Italy, ALNA is pleased with advice and support we have received from State and Federal governments that newsagents can remain open at this time, while managing their responsibilities carefully.
ALNA was contacted today by the Deputy Prime Minister, Michael McCormack, who acknowledged the advice we had provided government regarding newsagents and their role in the Australian community. He reassured us that the government made efforts yesterday to provide greater clarity for all small businesses, including our members, around which businesses were closing.
ALNA understands how complex these issues are and we appreciate the government alleviating members concerns and providing greater clarity for all small businesses including our newsagents. We want to be a strong role model for other businesses in managing social distancing and helping to educate the public about this, all the while continuing to deliver hard copy news and some of life’s basics. In particularly supporting our older generations who rely on newsagents for their convenience and to many others who either don’t have ease of access to digital news or whose preference is for hard copy news.
Ben Kearney, CEO, Australian Lottery and Newsagents Association, stated “With strict cleaning protocols, personal hygiene and social distancing rules in place, and limiting how many customers can be in store at any given time, it’s undoubtedly not business as usual, however we are working hard to innovate our service delivery and this announcement from the Government provides certainty, for now, to our newsagents as to their continuity of trading during these challenging and unprecedented times”.
Newsagents are also in a strong position to alleviate pressure on supermarkets and local grocery stores, as many provide food and beverage items and other important household items. And with school children still either attending school or being home schooled, having access to a wide range of stationery and school supplies will be a relief for parents and carers as well.
About Australian Lottery and Newsagents Association (ALNA)
The Australian Lottery and Newsagents Association (ALNA) is the peak national industry body for Australia’s newsagents and lottery agents. Representing a significant part of the Australian economy, ALNA advocates for the largest non-franchised family owned business sector in Australia.