SURVEY SAYS: What a lot of Gympie businesses are thinking
THE latest Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland-Suncorp Pulse Survey for the March quarter shows that business confidence in Gympie and the Sunshine Coast is at the lowest levels ever recorded.
The findings come amid the extraordinary forced closures and strict social distancing measures put in place in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
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CCIQ’s economist Jack Baxter said responses from the survey revealed devastating business conditions as owners and operators endure financial hardship and emotional distress while navigating an onerous landscape of lifelines and stimulus measures.
“Right now, some businesses are in a state of compulsory ‘hibernation’ where their sole focus has been focused on finding ways to stay afloat in the months to come,” Mr Baxter said.
“Businesses across the Sunshine Coast felt the economic downturn most heavily across the exporting sectors, tourism, education and manufacturing.
“Additionally, there is no motivation to invest in people or assets because there is such widespread uncertainty, and this is the primary concern for the long-term recovery of our economy.”
IQ’s general manager of advocacy and policy Amanda Rohan said the survey results show how essential it is to put that plan in place and give business the confidence it so desperately needs.
The 12-month outlook for the state and national economies collapsed to historic lows as closure measures across the state led to significant declines in the bottom lines of businesses. Operating conditions, turnover, employment levels and business investment measures all plummeted to their lowest levels on record during the quarter.
The quarterly Suncorp Pulse Survey was completed by a record 2419 businesses across Queensland in the March quarter.
Forecasts for the June quarter indicate that southwest Queensland businesses are anticipating conditions to deteriorate even further.
Petra Van Beek from the Gympie Chamber of Commerce said the results were not surprising given the uncertainty business faced in March.
“Nobody knew how long it would last but now that restrictions are starting to lift we’re seeing business confidence starting to increase,” she said.