'I've never been unemployed' COVID-19 wreaks havoc in Gympie
THERE was drought, bushfires and now the coronavirus pandemic which is causing heartache for many Gympie region businesses.
The latest casualty was Angelic Nail Designs run by Carly Jurss who made the announcement to close her business temporarily until the shut down is lifted.
Nobody knows how long that could last.
Ms Jurss said as a sole trader, she felt as though she was alone with no government support.
"We're basically the ones who have been completely overlooked by the government," she said. "My options so far are to withdraw $10,000 from my super which is dropping by the day or to queue up at Centrelink.
"I've never been unemployed."
Trying to remain optimistic, Ms Jurss said she is pleased that the government did shut her down as she felt as though she could be putting her clients and herself at risk with the coronavirus spreading across Queensland.
"I told some of my clients that I wouldn't be surprised if we went into a complete lockdown,' she said. "I am lucky that I am a sole trader and that I didn't have to let anyone go.
"I am also thankful that I have a good landlord who is doing his best to help me and he has reduced his rent which is nice."
Ms Jurss said she is very concerned for the future.
"It's the unknown factor of how long it will go on for and whether or not we will ever reopen again," she said.
There are many businesses that have now closed their doors temporarily including Jay Jays which is said to close until April 22. The Decks on Mary, Barnacles Cafe and Dolphin Feeding, Roadcraft Gympie, Lissy's Closet, Bushman's Bar & Kitchen, the Indoor Bowls Club, the Community Complex, Widgee Craft Group, Widgee & Districts Pony Club, Widgee Quilting Club, Widgee Markets and Widgee's Country Music Club are all said to be closed temporarily.
Gympie Chamber of Commerce president Tony Goodman said he was very concerned with the amount of businesses closing down.
"There is lots of uncertainty and insecurity and people are wondering what to do financially, some business owners said they only have one-two months and then they'll close and others have shut down for good," he said.
"Tourism has taken a massive hit. We had drought, bushfires and now this.
"Every respected economist says there will be more bankruptcies than people who will die from the virus."