“That’s all been thrown out of the window,” she says.
Like many operators in the travel industry, the coronavirus pandemic has wreaked havoc on Caffery’s small, but previously profitable, business in Melbourne’s Malvern East.
While Caffery and two of her employees at Travel Sense each receive a fortnightly JobKeeper payment of $1000 from the federal government, her share has been entirely consumed by business costs and customer refunds.
At the end of March, the JobKeeper payments keeping her 13-year-old travel agency afloat are set to come to an end. She’ll have to let go of her staff, a sad, but unavoidable outcome after a horror 12 months.
“It breaks my heart,” she says, her voice wavering.
She’s applied for work in office administration, catering and at hotels, but hasn’t heard back from anyone yet. She knows competition is fierce and suspects her age might be working against her.
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