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Sudden impact: Business king-hit by virus restrictions just as confidence returns

Business

The impact on business from the latest shutdown is likely to be massive with a survey indicating 90 per cent expected to lose revenue.

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According to the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland, small businesses with five or fewer employees were expecting losses of about $12,000.

That would extend to as much as $58,000 for small businesses and $65,000 for bigger businesses with up to 200 workers.One small business reported expectations of losses of up to $1.3 million because of impacts on consumer confidence during and after the lockdown.

Among the key findings of the CCIQ survey were that as many as 80 per cent of businesses in Greater Brisbane were expecting to be impacted by the three-day lockdown and almost 90 per cent were expecting to be impacted by a loss of revenue due to booking cancellations and ongoing implications on consumer confidence.

Half were calling for a nationally consistent framework for hotspot border closures to support business planning and certainty.

The LNP has used the frustration over the lockdowns to release a business action plan that provide grant funding to businesses impacted directly or indirectly by the lockdown as well as tax deferrals or waivers for payroll tax, gaming tax and liquor licences.

It would also include a public campaign to encourage consumers to support their local small businesses including dining vouchers which have been implemented in other jurisdictions.

Data from ANZ showed the lockdowns came as Brisbane’s business sector was getting some serious traction.

It found business confidence rose sharply in Queensland in March, with a gain of 10.5 per cent in Brisbane and 6.7 per cent in the rest of the state.

“Sentiment in Queensland may be tested by the emergence of a COVID-19 cluster in Brisbane,” the bank said.

The findings came as Deloitte said its forecast for tourism was that domestic overnight trips would not return to 2019 levels until | early 2022.

“With the international travel ban extended until at least mid-June 2021, little international activity is factored into our outlook for 2021, with the exception of potential travellers from New Zealand.

“As such, our current forecasts show international travel is not expected to recover to near pre-COVID levels until sometime in 2023, with current projections of international arrivals 7 per cent higher than 2019 levels.”

Economist Pete Faulkner of Conus Consultancy said the latest data from the Tourism Research Australia National Visitor Survey for the December quarter showed total visitor numbers fell 38 per cent for the year while expenditure was down 41 per cent.

Queensland fared slightly better with visitor numbers down 35 per cent and expenditure falling 37 per cent.

In Tropical North Queensland the results were a mix of the national and Queensland story.

Visitor numbers fell 35 per cent and expenditures were down 41 per cent as the average spend on an overnight trip in TNQ fell below $1000  for the first time in at least 12 years,” Faulkner said.

“Total domestic tourism expenditure in the region was more than $1.2 bn lower than in 2019. Obviously the vast bulk of the usual more-than $1 bn international expenditure the region usually sees has also disappeared.’’

Westpac said credit to the private sector had turned a corner and was significantly better than the low point in mid-2020.

It said business confidence as it tracked it, was at an 11-year high.

 

 

 

 

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