Hervey Bay Chamber of Commerce President Sandra Holebrook says business confidence in the region has taken a hit from the coronavirus and government restrictions. Photo: Cody Fox
Hervey Bay Chamber of Commerce President Sandra Holebrook says business confidence in the region has taken a hit from the coronavirus and government restrictions. Photo: Cody Fox

‘Rock bottom’: Business confidence tumbles amid crisis

BUSINESS confidence has hit "rock bottom" because of ongoing coronavirus restrictions, Hervey Bay's Chamber of Commerce boss says.

Fraser Coast shopping centres are feeling the pinch of the latest restrictions but have vowed to keep their doors open for essential services.

It follows Prime Minister Scott Morrison urging people not to leave their homes unless shopping for "essential needs" or seeking medical services.

Social gatherings have also been limited to no more than two people.

The changes are expected to be tough on businesses in Stockland Hervey Bay and Station Square in Maryborough, which have already been crippled by the business downturn.

Spendless Shoes, Jeanswest, Specsavers, Noni B, Rockmans and Forty Winks are among the businesses that have shut their doors at Station Square.

Centre manager Doug Sanderson said the centre would remain open but these were "changing daily at present".

He said the centre had taken extra hygiene precautions like using stronger antiseptics and putting hand sanitising stations in common areas.

"At present it appears there is not much browsing", Mr Sanderson said.

Stockland Hervey Bay said their centre would remain open with restrictions in place.

"Individual store trading hours may change with short notice at this time and we recommend checking with your store of choice prior to visiting the centre," a Stockland spokeswoman said.

The centre's food court seating and play areas have closed as a precaution.

Ms Holebrook said there was a risk of congregating if non-essential businesses were to stay open despite the regulations.

"I think businesses need to consider some innovative ways of delivering services, so things like delivery, minimising social contact with takeawayaway goods," she said.

In Maryborough's CBD, Myatt Jewellers announced their shop would be closed, save for appointments and collections.

"We decided to make this decision because we have a family to look after," owner Rebecca Myatt said. "We want to look out for all our customers, the majority are in the age bracket where they should be at home."


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