JobKeeper programme a lifesaver for Barossa businesses

John Evans, owner/operator of Stainless Engineering and Maintenance, Angaston says JobKeeper saved the business. He is pictured with some of the staff, front: Craig Mattingly, Aaron Saegenschnitter, Jack Gaffin, Jakeb Modistach and Anthony Heinis. Back: Anders Peterson, Daniel Jenner, Ryan Pritchard, Adam Cundy and Jasper Ireland-Neilsen.

“It has been a lifesaver.” That’s how Angaston based, Stainless Engineering and Maintenance (SEAM) owner/operator, John Evans describes the Federal Government’s JobKeeper initiative that was launched to assist businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

To be eligible for JobKeeper, businesses had to experience a decline in turnover by at least 30 per cent.

The JobKeeper payment assisted with the cost of employees’ wages, providing $1,500 for eligible employees, each fortnight.

It has meant the company has been able to retain their staff and with the wage support, John said his business has been able to keep operating.

He is honest in what the business was facing when the pandemic hit and said they were nearly at the stage of shutting down.

Their ability to work onsite came to a halt when businesses closed and it forced the company to switch their focus on jobs within the Angaston workshop.

“JobKeeper has definitely kept us going,” said John.

“We have managed to keep all the guys on and dropped to three days a week for a while.

“We kept the guys working on projects that needed doing, which we never had the time to do in the workshop and it kept everybody together.”

John credited the Federal Government for what they initiated with JobKeeper, adding “it probably saved us”.

He remains positive of where the coming weeks and months will take his business with enquiries and purchase orders starting to roll through, particularly for winery work.

However, he is also mindful of the situation in other states and how quick the pandemic situation could change.

“If it keeps going like it is, here in SA, for the next month or so, we should be fine and will be able to keep all our employees,” said John.

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