Businesses in WA’s regional areas expect to face tougher conditions than their metropolitan counterparts as a result of COVID-19, CCIWA’s latest Regional Pulse report reveals.
The report shows 45 per cent of regional businesses expect economic conditions to worsen in the next 12 months, compared with 30 per cent of businesses in Perth.
The Kimberley, Great Southern, Wheatbelt and Mid-West regions show the most concern over economic conditions in the short and medium terms.
Weak demand, lack of availability of skilled labour and rising operating costs were identified as the greatest barriers to business.
CCIWA Chief Economist Aaron Morey says the report highlights the need for greater clarity around the State’s plan to re-open its borders.
“Regional businesses are not helped by ongoing uncertainty and lack of clarity about WA’s approach to borders. With a mixed recovery across our regions, WA needs to outline a sustainable approach to borders, led foremost by health advice,” he says.
“This should include a clear public roadmap to re-join the nation – beginning with States or Territories where COVID-19 is even less present than in WA – and a world-class contact tracing system in which businesses can have full confidence.”