A recent survey by the Illawarra Business Chamber's state parent organisation, Business NSW, suggests that businesses are less pessimistic about the months ahead, but there is still a long way to go to recovery.
Illawarra Business Chamber's executive director Adam Zarth said that the most recent Business Conditions Survey indicated that business conditions hit rock bottom in the June quarter.
"The recent outbreak in Victoria has put in doubt what could otherwise have been a stronger recovery. Subsequent restrictions have impacted business confidence," he said.
"For instance, there was a 20 percent drop in the number of businesses across the state expecting a stronger economy, and 41 percent of businesses reported that they were more pessimistic about the impact of COVID-19 in June than they were in March.
"In response, our survey shows that businesses have entered a cost cutting phase which is starting to have a flow-on effect for the potential of our economy to bounce back."
Mr Zarth said that businesses in the Illawarra and Southern Highlands region reported a 17 per cent decline in sales revenue compared to the March quarter. It was also reported that 47 percent of businesses reduced their staff numbers in that period.
"However, there are positive signs. Businesses in the region reported a 32 per cent improvement in confidence concerning their solvency, with 30 per cent growing and restoring revenue during this time." he said.
"More than 10 per cent have sought to downsize their business in order to adapt. This reaffirms the need for urgent action on the recommendations made in our Back on Track report which outlined a COVID-recovery plan to steady the economy and protect jobs, including major regulatory reform.
"Governments should continue to work closely with industry to minimise the spread of COVID-19 and to avoid a further round of crippling restrictions which would further hurt the economy."
Did you know the Southern Highland News is now offering breaking news alerts and a weekly email newsletter? Keep up-to-date with all the local news: sign up below.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.