Tom Grady.
Tom Grady.

Financial crisis reaches Gympie

TWO major business operators in the region agree that Gympie may be feeling the affects of the global financial crisis now.

Both Tom Grady from Tom Grady Real Estate, Auctions and Rural Merchandise and Glen Shepherd from Retravision say businesses are doing it tough, despite a recent business confidence survey that painted a rosy picture for Gympie’s businesses.

Only 17 per cent of respondents to the Gympie Regional Council (GRC) run survey reported stronger trading results in the last six months.

In fact, Mr Grady said, in the last 12 months business had been getting harder.

“Everyone is feeling the pinch, people aren’t buying as much,” he said.

“Generally speaking across the board it has got harder in the last 12 months.”

Mr Grady said there was talk that a “recession” was here now and that was brought on by a lack of confidence in the government and uncertainty in the market.

“With increases in electricity, rego and interest rates it’s harder for sure.”

But Mr Grady conceded in Australia things were a lot better off than other countries.

He said in real estate cheaper priced homes were going well, while in the rural merchandise business people were still spending but only what they really needed to.

It is a little more difficult than this time last year, he said, yet there was no need to panic.

Even though most Gympie businesses were not making the same profits there was difficulty world wide, he said.

Mr Grady who has been a business proprietor for 31 years said he saw the same pattern in both of his businesses.

And Retravision owner Glen Shepherd agreed the slow down in business was a Queensland trend due to poor consumer confidence.

He said things should start to turn around at the end of July.

“(At the moment) people are very indecisive and have stopped spending on furniture, electrical and cars,” Mr Shepherd said.

“Nothing seems to work including advertising.”

Mr Shepherd said he experienced slow times that had lasted weeks not months and the latest trend had been going since Christmas.

“We’ve probably had the worst three month period, in the last 20 years.

“I SIT on the Retravision board and its not just Retravision but all retailers are experiencing a tough time. It hasn’t got easier, it has got harder. Once it’s quiet in Gympie it’s very quiet – we’re usually bullet proof.”

Mr Shepherd said Gympie was having its global financial crisis this year.

“Most business people are of the consensus we were buffered last year but that just delayed the inevitable”.

GRC Mayor Ron Dyne said he heard business was experiencing hard times. “Some businesses are doing it tough but it’s the same story in Rainbow Beach. It’s probably just one of those things synonymous with the current economic climate,” he said.

But the Mayor also said the recent business confidence survey showed many businesses held confidence in the future.

He said a discussion for all Mary Street business operators to find a way forward for Mary Street, to promote it and get a better economic outlook is being held on August 17 at 6pm in the Fossickers Room at the Civic Centre.

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