It’s time to get serious and ease restrictions: CCIQ
- Small business revenues could collapse by up to $27 billion during the June quarter as a consequence of COVID-19 restrictions
- $13 billion of revenues were lost in Queensland during the March quarter according to the ABS
- Time to act now and not wait for specific dates
Queensland businesses need to start operating fully and it needs to happen now said the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland (CCIQ).
Findings from the most recent Suncorp-CCIQ Pulse survey, 90% of businesses said that their sales and revenue projections had fallen as a result of the COVID-19 restrictions.
If realised CCIQ predicts that the turnover of small businesses could collapse by up to $27 billion during the June quarter.
Especially for businesses exposed to the Accommodation and Hospitality, Tourism and Retail industries, COVID-19 restriction, including the ongoing border closures, have severely inhibited their ability to sell goods and services to consumers.
The predicted loss would add salt to the $13 billion wound that was the lost revenues by Queensland businesses reported by the Australian Bureau of Statistics earlier last week.
CCIQ’s general manager of advocacy and policy Amanda Rohan said businesses across Queensland desperately need the government to move on easing restrictions and not wait for specific dates.
“The Premier has stated a border review is scheduled at the end of the month, but why can’t that review be brought forward? Enabling an exact date of reopening the borders to be set,” Ms Rohan said.
“And while that review that is taking place, we want to see an immediate easing of the 20 persons limit per section/per venue and allow businesses to operate under the COVID safe 4sqm instead.
“This will give businesses the capacity to welcome more people back into their business, giving them a chance to survive. At the moment, they are operating on the thinnest of margins due to the limit on patron numbers.
“Right now, today, the Premier should be allowing businesses to operate at the fullest capacity possible, as long as they can do it in a COVID safe way.
“Having patron limits is unviable for many businesses. It is causing more financial strain and stress on businesses and putting more at risk of closing, which will see more staff out of work and in the unemployment line.
“Queenslander’s can travel across the state but try booking a restaurant for lunch or dinner, it’s nearly impossible due to the limit on patron numbers.
“While it is encouraging to see many places are booked for their sitting times, they are missing revenue because of those they cannot accommodate. This is holding back business recovery,” said Ms Rohan.