Qld businesses’ life expectancy revealed
Most Queensland businesses fear they'll go bust within the next 12 months as the coronavirus-induced recession bites and government handouts get gradually removed.
The latest Suncorp Pulse survey, set to be released today, paints a bleak picture of doing business in the Sunshine State, with owners and operators deeply pessimistic about a recovery anytime soon.
Conducted by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland, the warning from traders about the wholesale collapse of businesses throughout the state comes as the public remains on tenterhooks about another lockdown following a handful of recent COVID-19 cases.
One in five owners confess to running "zombie" businesses that would collapse within three months of support measures being removed, particularly the Federal Government's JobKeeper payments.
The initiative has been extended until March however eligibility will be tightened and payments reduced from September.
The survey of almost 1200 businesses throughout Queensland found a further one in three were convinced trading conditions were so poor that they were at risk of shutting their doors permanently within 12 months as their cash reserves dwindled.
Despite the doomsday predictions, the outlook is a modest improvement on the March quarter results which were taken at the height of Queensland's lockdown when businesses were shuttered and people's movements restrained.
CCIQ general manager of advocacy and policy Amanda Rohan said the sliver of hope emerging from the lifting of restrictions meant there was now an impetus on the major political parties to unveil major economic blueprints ahead of the October 31 state election.
"Currently, there is stimulus aiding businesses through this crisis period, but it won't last forever," Ms Rohan told The Courier-Mail.
"What will last and what will strengthen our economy is business-friendly policies, activating infrastructure projects to give regions a flow of work and enabling businesses to connect, employ and grow.
"So now is the opportunity for parties to provide business and communities with the certainty they so desperately need by unveiling their future plans."
With just 89 days until Queenslanders go to the ballot box, both Labor and the LNP are laying claim to having the economic plans to tackle the recession and rescue the state Budget.
Annastacia Palaszczuk's Labor Government has so far concentrated on rolling over existing programs, while the Deb Frecklington-led Opposition has promised additional infrastructure spending and a tax freeze.
According to the Pulse Survey, three out of four businesses expected the national and Queensland economies to weaken further over the next 12 months.
Two-thirds of respondents reported deteriorated trading conditions, reduced sales and poorer profitability during the June quarter, a slight improvement from March when the worst results in the long-running survey's history were chalked up.
"The majority of businesses are experiencing a downturn in their turnover and profitability, which is impacting all areas of their operations, including hiring intentions, capital investment and general productivity," CCIQ economist Jack Baxter said.