New data suggests Rocky businesses could be on the brink

ABOUT 300 businesses in Gladstone and Rockhampton are facing a high risk of financial failure within the next 12 months, according to data by specialist accounting firm SV Partners.

The 293 businesses in the high risk band account for 2.2% of all the businesses in the region, compared to 2.1% nationally.

The report, made by SV partners who provide services for failing businesses, categorises businesses into 10 risk bands ranging from low to high risk.

High risk business behaviours include late payments on loans and debts and cash flow problems.

Construction businesses were the most at risk of failure with 47 of them listed in band 1, but only equated to 4.6% of the more than 1000 construction businesses in the report than any other category.

The report also revealed small businesses with turnovers of less than $1 million were the most at risk group in the Fitzroy area.

SV Partners executive director David Stimpson said the two main concerns for Fitzroy businesses were pressures from the Australian Taxation Office and commercial property prices.

He said the ATO was becoming more vigilant in chasing outstanding debts.

Businesses who are still locked in to rental contracts made during the resources and construction booms were struggling to make those payments now the booms had finished, he said.

On February 22 Gladstone Florists, Nuellie de Fleur, left Goondoon St because the rents were too high.

"People are spending less money," manager Peter Davis said.

"But it's equal parts to do with the decline in the Gladstone market, the rents being too high in the CBD and the fact the CBD is no longer a hub of activity."

He decided to run the business from home.


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