CCIQ Pulse Survey: Far North Queensland businesses banking on the next 12 months to re-coup COVID losses

Tuesday 16 November, 2021 | By: Emma Clarke

Far North Queensland businesses are the least confident in the state the December quarter will deliver the traditional festive business boost, instead expecting the Queensland and national economies over the next 12 months will be a more positive economic environment.

Results from the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland’s (CCIQ) September quarter Pulse Survey show businesses in the state’s Far North expect conditions won’t change in the December quarter off the back of a weak September quarter.

Business conditions to the three months to September deteriorated more than 18 points as a consequence of falling sales, increasing labour and operational costs, causing business profitability to erode.

From Cape York to Coolangatta, Cloncurry to Cunnamulla, CCIQ’s quarterly Pulse Survey is the state’s most established and comprehensive survey of business confidence. 

Cairns Chamber of Commerce CEO Patricia O’Neill said confidence in the December quarter was expected to increase by three points but business conditions were still the weakest across nine Queensland regions.

“Typically the last three months of the year is when Far North businesses should be expecting a boost in local and tourism spending across the majority of industries,” Ms O’Neill said

“There isn’t much confidence among the business community this Christmas will deliver the festive boost the December quarter normally would.

“While it’s expected business conditions will increase slightly, we’re still the least confident in the state. Increasing slightly from an already weak quarter does not equal strong confidence.”

Ms O’Neill said performance in the September quarter in the Far North was more than three points below the state average and close to five points below for the December quarter.

Instead, businesses in the Far North are among the most confident in the state the national and Queensland economies will be more optimistic over the next 12 months, tipping conditions to improve.

CCIQ Policy and Advocacy General Manager Amanda Rohan said businesses across the state had endured close to two years of COVID economic conditions and Far North businesses were banking on the next 12 months to help them recover some of the losses.

“We know the State Government’s road map shows borders and the economy will re-open to fully vaccinated travellers just days before Christmas but we’ve been saying since April businesses are desperate for clearer details around what new COVID trading conditions mean for them,” Ms Rohan said.   

“For the most part businesses have only just been getting by for a year which we know a lack of confidence caused during snap lockdowns, restrictions and border closures was responsible for.  

“For businesses to be able to accelerate their long term recovery, they need to know what they’re up against and how they will be protected to run a businesses in new COVID conditions.”


CCIQ media contact

Emma Clarke

Media and communications advisor | 0403 944 902