The National Retail Association has warned the Reserve Bank’s fourth consecutive interest rate rise will devastate small and family-owned businesses.

CEO Dominique Lamb said the decision to increase the cash rate target by 50 basis points is exacerbating business confidence, which is already at an all-time low.

“Retailers are struggling to keep their heads above water. This announcement to raise interest rates again directly impacts several businesses and their ability to repay loans.

“The retail sales figures for June showed just how much the sector has slowed down as consumers forgo spending on necessary items as much as they can to cover their growing mortgage repayments."

Lamb said the blow to businesses comes a week after the increase in annual inflation which hit 6.1 per cent.

“The cost of living crisis, escalating inflation and now a fourth interest rate hike shows policy makers do not have a good handle on how businesses are performing economically.

“The lack of clarity on how well Australians are actually placed to manage this change is exacerbating the uncertain economic environment for many struggling businesses.”

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