Burnett businesses feeling COVID-19 squeeze
BUSINESSES across the region have been feeling the squeeze triggered by COVID-19, following the rise in public restrictions.
Social distancing laws and bans on public gatherings have impacted businesses across the nation.
The North Burnett is not immune, and many of the region’s businesses have reported a large drop in foot traffic in their towns’ CBDs and through their stores.
Gayndah Development Association vice-president Jo Dowling said businesses in the town had been forced to send staff home due to the decrease in business.
“No business owner wants to get rid of any staff member, but they’re having to make these decisions,” Mrs Dowling said.
“Each member you lose, that’s one family relying on that income.
“No business wants to be responsible for that.”
Several shops in town have been quick to make changes to cope with the impact of the health crisis according to Mrs Dowling, who said several retailers had turned to online sales.
“Pubs and cafes have also been adapting and promoting their takeaway meals, and the local tyre shop has their own safe zone to follow social distancing,” she said.
“Everyone’s rolling with the punches right now, not knowing whether they’re going to come out on the other side.”
Mundubbera Enterprise Association president Bruce Serisier said Lyons St had quietened down significantly.
“It’s going to be very tough with people, because none of us are sure how long it’s going to take,” Mr Serisier said.
“Two businesses have only just started in town, and they haven’t got their feet on the ground yet.
“Businesses are now wondering if they have the capacity to outlast what’s happening.”
Biggenden Chamber of Commerce secretary Stephanie Whittaker said the restrictions had been particularly tough on the hospitality sector.
“A lot of businesses are changing what they do now, moving from takeaways to dining,” she said.
“Keeping staff on is a struggle, particularly hotels where there isn’t any indoor dining, or over the bar sales.
“It’s tough for them.”