Two thirds of Mount Isa businesses have suffered loss during COVID-19, half our businesses have suffered significant loss and almost one in five suffered total loss of business, a new local survey has found.
Commerce North West president Chis Boschoff presented the results of the chamber's COVID-19 members' impact survey to Mount Isa City Council meeting on Wednesday.
Financially the survey found that 66% of members had financial impact due to COVID-19 with 47% suffering significant loss and 18% suffering almost total loss.
Mr Boschoff told councillors the chamber surveyed members on economic and operational impacts.
He said almost half their members (49%) applied for Jobkeeper support, 43% had applied for cash flow boosts from the Australian Tax Office and 21% were approved for the COVID-19 wage subsidy.
Some of the flow on effects businesses noticed that suppliers had reduced stock while transport was unreliable.
Operationally, 60% of survey respondents said they kept all their staff while 40% reported some layoffs with reduced or changed activity.
Though the businesses were not identified, two respondents actually looked to increase their workforce during the pandemic.
Changes reported to business operation included restricted and controlled access to mine sites, onerous requirements for masks, sanitiser and other PPE, new cleaning procedures and the need for more vehicles due to social distancing requirements.
Mr Boschoff said respondents noted it was difficult to keep up with the government assistance being offered and there was also a large emotional challenge, especially with tourism businesses not expecting many tourists until next year.
One in five businesses now say it is back to business as usual with 65% optimistic post COVID, though not seeing an upward swing yet and 21% pessimistic seeing no significant growth for some time.
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