Confidence is huge: How coronavirus will affect small biz
SMALL businesses may feel the effect of a drop in confidence as the economic fallout of coronavirus continues.
Gladstone Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Joe Smith said falls in the stock market and media coverage of the outbreak could result in people tightening their belts.
Yesterday, CommSec reported the Australian market had suffered its worst decline since October 2008.
Mr Smith said people might think twice about big purchases like a new car or cut down on smaller costs such as going out to dinner.
"Confidence is a huge thing in the business community," he said.
The Federal Government is expected to announce a multi-billion dollar coronavirus stimulus plan within days.
Mr Smith said measures that could help local small businesses include wage support and payment extensions for tax returns and business activity statements, as well as direct funding for sectors impacted.
He believed a targeted approach would work better than distributing funding directly to individuals.
The stimulus package may be delivered in a series of stages, and Mr Smith said the federal budget could result in further support measures being issued.
Last week, Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg flagged that a stimulus package was on the way.
He said the government was working on measures that would support business cash flow and keeping people in jobs.
"These measures are designed not only to get businesses and the community through the coronavirus, and its economic impact, but to ensure that they are stronger on the other side," he said.
"It's absolutely critical that we get that support out as quickly as possible, and the Federal Government has systems to do that."
Mr Frydenberg said he would not get into "the rule-in rule-out game", but confirmed there would be a comprehensive suite of measures designed to provide a boost to the Australian economy.