NSW drought: Young businesses struggling through dry times

Young business owner Michael Tomlinson has operated Pointsbuild for the past 11 years and he can't remember times ever being so tough.
Young business owner Michael Tomlinson has operated Pointsbuild for the past 11 years and he can't remember times ever being so tough.

THE long-running drought is have a detrimental impact on the economy in Young, business owner Michael Tomlinson says.

Currently 34.2 per cent of the Central West is in intense drought, 61.4 per cent in drought and 4.4 drought affected, data from the NSW Department of Primary Industries shows.

Young based business Pointsbuild may have a huge online presence and deliver training to the building and construction industry across Australia, but its owner Mr Tomlinson said he's feeling the impacts of the drought.

He has been in business for the past 11 years and said he can't remember things being so tough.

"There's less economic activity and less people in the streets in Young," Mr Tomlinson said. "There's restaurants and pubs shutting down in Young."

Mr Tomlinson urged people to keep talking about the drought, especially when they were travelling outside the area.

"Don't let the messages of how serious the drought is get lost when you're talking to people from outside the area, they might not know exactly what it's like this side of the Great Dividing Range," he said.

Cowra Business Chamber president Jordan Core said many businesses had restructured and resized to reduce overheads, while others have adapted their offerings.

"Some businesses have gone from bricks and mortar to an online presence, while some have decreased stock on hand and improved marketing strategies," he said.

Mr Core said Cowra's business owners were resilient and would do everything possible to keep services local and people employed.

"Businesses in Cowra are smart, they understand what needs to be done to stay in the game, when the drought breaks, they will be here," he said.

Forbes Business Chamber president Margaret Duggan has encouraged businesses to get online to help expand their customer base.

She said it was vital that businesses had an online presence, no matter whether that was a website or social media account to help promote themselves and remain competitive.

Western NSW Business Chamber regional manager Vicki Seccombe said the impact of the drought across the region could not be overstated .

"It's continuing to hurt businesses and our local economies right across the Central West," she said.

"Businesses are reporting substantial decreases in cashflow, falling sales and revenue, while operating costs are on the rise.

"As the drought continues, there is a real risk that we'll start to see more jobs lost and a drop-off in the availability of certain goods and services around the region," Ms Seccombe said.

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