Hervey Bay Chamber of Commerce President Sandra Holebrook and Fraser Coast Chronicle Sales Manager Kane Carpenter
Hervey Bay Chamber of Commerce President Sandra Holebrook and Fraser Coast Chronicle Sales Manager Kane Carpenter Joy Butler

Chamber boss says buying local key to boosting business

FRASER COAST's steady business confidence conflicts with a recently released survey which places business confidence at 'rock bottom'.

According to the Suncorp Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland Business Pulse Survey, the September quarter revealed confidence in small and medium enterprises was at its worst on record.

However Hervey Bay Chamber of Commerce president Sandra Holebrook believes the business confidence in Fraser Coast is reasonably good.

She said coming off a strong whale season and moving into Christmas it was a good time for businesses locally.

"And we're not feeling the influence of drought as much," she said.

The Pulse Survey is sent to a membership panel of more than 38,000 small and medium businesses to voice thoughts on operating and economic conditions in the regions.

Responses to the survey revealed fear was a major factor, following concerns from prolonged drought and lower levels of economic activity.

The survey showed 50 per cent of businesses reported increased labour costs and 24 per cent had reduced staffing levels. Fifty per cent of businesses reported decreased profits and 60 per cent reported increasing costs such as rent, insurance, electricity and other utilities however there was optimism that these costs would ease slightly in the December quarter.

Ms Holebrook said people needed to think about buying locally.

"If you don't think of where you're spending your money and are sending it away then you're not thinking about how it's affecting local businesses," she said.

CCIQ Chief Economist Dr Marcus Smith said the solutions to improving sentiment statewide involved policy initiatives, greater governmental co-ordination at all levels and encouragement of private sector projects.



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