Orange is defying a downturn in business across the Central West mainly caused by the drought, business leaders have claimed.
The NSW Business Chamber’s latest report, released on Tuesday, said the drought had hit the Central West equal hardest across the state.
“Revenue is trending down while operating costs remain relatively high,” the September quarter Business Conditions Survey found.
“Business confidence took a hit for the quarter primarily due to the impact of the drought.
It’s a tough time for many businesses at the moment.Vicki Seccombe, NSW Business Chamber
“Our survey reaffirms the impact of the drought with New England and North West, and Central West experiencing the sharpest deterioration in confidence [in NSW] this quarter.”
The chamber’s Western NSW Business Chamber manager Vicki Seccombe said conditions were “tight” for business.
“We are definitely seeing accommodation, food services and retail industries weakening across the Central West,” she said.
“Much of this is related to decreasing revenue and cash flow due to the drought and continuing high operating costs for businesses such as energy.
“It’s a tough time for many businesses at the moment.”
However, she said Orange was coping better than some other towns in the region.
Several businesses including Bob Jane T-Marts and leading restaurants, The Union Bank and Eighteen 70, have closed in Orange this year.
However, business leaders said they were due to individual circumstances and not part of a wider trend.
Orange Business Chamber president Ash Brown said the Orange economy was strong, particularly in food and wine.
“Every business has its own challenges, whether it’s hospitality, retail, administration,” he said.
Mr Brown said many Orange restaurants were going strong.
“I know people who come to Orange and say it is an amazing choice,” he said.
Orange360 general manager Caddie Marshall said while some restaurants had closed others had opened.
“We’ve got a good solid reputation,” she said.
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