Small businesses to feel the pinch of horse racing cuts

Anna Dutton was worried about flow-on effects from racing industry cuts.
Anna Dutton was worried about flow-on effects from racing industry cuts. Damon Boswell

MORE than 60% of Brenda Lui's business is driven by racegoers, making her a potential victim of the state's racing industry cuts.

Racing Queensland has announced a prize money slashing of $18.8 million across the three codes and proposed scrapping up to 60 country race meetings next financial year.

But the Brenda-Lui Designs milliner, or headpiece maker, said many of her online orders were from these country areas where people splashed out for one of the only opportunities to get dressed up.

"If they are going to have fewer races that would definitely affect my business," she said.

"I'm very race-day oriented, it's about 60-70% of my business."Fashion designer Anna Dutton, from Anna Dutton Couture, said there were many flow-on businesses set to be impacted.

"It will definitely be detrimental to everyone," Ms Dutton said.

"Look at the people selling clothing, doing hair and make-up, the caterers, even the marquee-hire.

"Small businesses are struggling and we need to look after everyone."

Despite the concern, new state Minister for Racing Grace Grace encouraged Queenslanders to go to the races this weekend.

"I'm keen to hear from jockeys, owners, trainers and stable staff about the opportunities that exist," she said. "For the industry to grow it will require good governance, public confidence and a sustainable plan for the future."

Topics:  mackay small business

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