Queensland businesses are expected to benefit from a consumer and sector confidence boost from this month following a long overdue review of the state’s vaccine mandate.
The change comes as Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland (CCIQ) and chambers across the state have been warning since January the business sector’s emotional and financial health is dependent on a vaccine mandate review, promised to businesses when the 90% target was achieved more than eight weeks ago.
CCIQ Policy and Advocacy General Manager Amanda Rohan said businesses and chambers had been calling for these mandates to be reviewed and removed for months.
“CCIQ data shows business confidence in the future of the state and national economies was the lowest since the start of the COVID economic crisis in Queensland two years ago and we expect uncertainty created around these mandates contributed to that,” Ms Rohan said.
“More than 60% of business owners or staff are suffering mental health impacts due to COVID stressors while many businesses were still trading under vaccine mandates and directly or indirectly impacted from natural disasters.
“Businesses were promised these rules would be reviewed when the state reached the 90% vaccine target, which happened in January, and we’ve been waiting more than two months for insight into what that review included and what it meant for businesses.
“Now is the time for Queensland businesses to be supported and protected to run day-to-day, serve their customers and communities and recover from the compounding impact of COVID and recent natural disasters.
“The long overdue mandate removal provides businesses with some long-term certainty and renewed confidence in their future.
“CCIQ’s quarterly Pulse Survey is businesses’ chance to share what impact trading conditions like these mandates have on their ability to scale, grow and recover. We use this insight to share a real-time representation of Queensland business conditions direct to government. The March quarter survey is now open.”
Ms Rohan said vaccine mandates disproportionately impacted businesses in regional Queensland and in areas and sectors struggling with a long-term skills shortage.
“The ability for staff to get back to work and for customers and communities to get back to spending at and supporting local businesses is a welcome relief for those most impacted,” Ms Rohan said.
“It means those businesses, including pubs, clubs, cafes, restaurants, theme parks, cinemas, weddings plus the customers and communities which rely on them know they can get back to business and an operate in line with other sectors.”
Ms Rohan said there were still disruptions to supply chains, staff availability and consumer behaviour and confidence so any opportunity for business rules and red tape to be reviewed, relaxed or removed was essential.
“Let’s show our local and visiting communities we are open for business and support Queensland businesses who are ready to get back to what they do best supporting their staff, customers and communities,” Ms Rohan said.
CCIQ media contact:
Media and Communications Advisor