Redlands Coast Chamber of Commerce president warns of bleak future as coronavirus impact survey reveals significant business downturn

REDLANDS Chamber of Commerce president Rebecca Young says the COVID-19 pandemic will hit local businesses harder than the global financial crisis and has warned that some industries may not survive the downturn in trade.

HARD GOING: Chamber president Rebecca Young said the coronavirus crisis would impact local businesses more than the Global Financial Crisis of 2007 and 2008.

HARD GOING: Chamber president Rebecca Young said the coronavirus crisis would impact local businesses more than the Global Financial Crisis of 2007 and 2008.

It comes as the chamber releases a Redlands coronavirus impact study showing a 43 per cent drop in turnover across all industries between February and April.

Ms Young said local sporting clubs were among the most at risk of folding amid the crisis, while the hospitality industry would also face a long road to recovery as tourism takes a hit.

She said downward trends in monthly business turnover were likely to continue over the next few months.

"I worked through the GFC and I think this will be the hardest they have been hit," she said.

"Even through the likes of the GFC, they could continue to trade on a lower level or make some changes.

"Some of the industries have been pigeon-holed by the government. I am not saying they have done a bad job, they are doing what is necessary, but there is no scope for pivot or change."

Ms Young said it would take some sectors six to 12 months to recover from the coronavirus crisis.

She said many businesses currently closed would not return to normal trading immediately after they were allowed to reopen.

"In the chamber we are picking those industries that are low hanging fruit in regards to making suggestions to council about which to stimulate first," Ms Young said.

"Obviously tourism and hospitality is going to be a slow burn. We believe that pumping some stimulus into construction where that trickles into the economy and will affect many other sectors would be a smarter way to go.

"They would get more bang for their buck that way. If we can get people in work they will then have money to go out and play and that's where our tourism and hospitality will then ramp back up."

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