Business expenses top concern

By Mitch Gaynor

BUSINESS owners across Glasshouse Country say ongoing business expenses are the most immediate concern to their  future, according to a new survey.

Glasshouse Country Chamber of Commerce this month released the findings of its shopfront survey, which looked at the major influences businesses anticipated in the next 12 months.

The survey received 50 submissions, with ‘ongoing business expenses’ the most pressing issues for owners, with 46 per cent saying it was their biggest worry.

Chamber vice president Brett Piercy said the survey showed that over 67 per cent of respondents saw business expenses as a major or moderate concern.

“It shows that the absolute majority of survey participants are grappling with the costs of doing business,” Brett said.

“It seems clear that businesses will be looking at ways to cover fixed costs, including staffing costs to stay on top of expenses.” Brett said the Chamber would use the findings to seek support from council and government.

The next major influences for Glasshouse businesses were staff recruitment and retention as well as issues specific to individual operators (equally 36 per cent).

The impact of street parking – an issue following a move by Beerwah Marketplace to impose three-hour time limits on parking – was a concern for over 70 per cent of respondents.

The move has pushed workers who used to park in the Marketplace outside the precinct, which has consequently reduced parking options for customers of retailers especially on Simpson and Turner streets. 

The council has told GC&M News that it is now considering timed street parking limits. “It is clearly an issue that has attracted discussion for businesses particularly in Beerwah,” Brett said.

“In order to reach a fair outcome for all stakeholders, we need to consider parking as a priority in any future planning discussions.”

Another question in the survey asked retailers their thoughts on the proposed Coles development.

There was a split in opinions, with 36 per cent saying it was a major or large threat, 36 per cent neutral  and 28 per cent saying it would be a minor or significant boost to their business.

“The results showed a split in opinions on the development and the Chamber will need to look more closely at how it might support those businesses that see the development as a threat,” Brett said.