As first reported on wideformatonline.com last week, several industry suppliers have put forward aid packages for sign businesses affected by bushfires in NSW, Victoria, SA and now WA. Trade association Visual Connections has now established a central hub for support from both private and government sources, making it easier for affected sign shops to gain fast and much needed assistance.
Further to our earlier reports of industry suppliers formulating support packages for fire-affected sign businesses, leading association for the print, sign, display, label and packaging sectors, Visual Connections, has established a central register of resources for affected businesses, with regular updates.
CEO Peter Harper says: "Our sector, like Australians more broadly, are known for the way they respond in times of crisis and, since reaching out earlier in the week to our members, many companies have already been able to advise us of initiatives they are introducing to help businesses affected by this unfolding disaster, while many more are finalising plans for similar support."
He adds: “We will coordinate a list of all known offers from our members, the industry's suppliers, and will host that information on our website, updating it regularly as new information comes to hand. In the immediate aftermath of the bushfires, we know that there will be many industry businesses which have either had their facilities lost or damaged, have interruptions to power and supply, or whose staff are otherwise occupied on more critical matters, and we stand ready to help them navigate through this difficult time.
Importantly, Harper says the association itself has swung into action to assist. “Working with our members, trade printers and trade sign suppliers, Visual Connections will help to organise - and, if necessary, cover costs - of 'bridging' production, to ensure all affected businesses can produce their current contracted orders,” he says.
Visual Connections member or affilliated companies who have already structured assistance programmes in either cash, value-in-kind, service support or production overload, as of today, include:
This publication, wideformatonline, has also donated $500 in the form of two $250 cashcards, accessible via the $25,000 Jetmark programme as immediate cash relief. Publisher Andy McCourt says: "The centralisation of fire relief resources through Visual Connections makes complete sense and makes it easier for fire-affected sign and display businesses to to get rapid and much needed assistance. We are a community of industry people, no matter how far spread out we are. Some of our community are in deep trouble and we must help them."
There are also state and federal government assistance packages, outlined in this article.
More support information will be added here and on Visual Connections website/social media as it comes to hand