Despite growing concerns about economic welfare in Queensland, the Gold Coast suburb of Broadbeach is faring well.
According to the Gold Coast Chamber of Commerce, there has been an increase in spending at the beachside suburb since January, suggesting that the economic situation in the area may be looking up soon.
According to Business Gold Coast, Broadbeach has just over 4,000 actively trading businesses – mostly in the food, retail and accommodation sectors – and about 50 per cent are privately owned companies.
“We’ve had more sales than last year,” said Janine Calder at Starbucks, adding that the opening of several new high-rises during the past six months had boosted both mid-week and weekend sales to both locals and tourists.
“Coffee and cake is something small that most people afford to enjoy,” she said.
Around the corner Richard Rothenburg, from Koi, has a different story. This restaurant, situated on Surf Parade – a generally busy street in the heart of Broadbeach, has seen a decrease in profits but since January they had stablised.
“Brekkie and lunch are okay but the dinners are where we see less people,” said Mr Rothenburg. People were spending less on luxuries like dinner outings but he hoped things would begin to look up in the near future.
“There’s been about a 10 per cent overall decrease, which is a little worrying, but it’s stable for the moment.”
He said the fall had made an impact as Koi has been operating on small margins since the economic downturn.
Festivals such as the Jazz, Blues and Restaurant Week are aimed at increasing such revenue in the Broadbeach area, according to Broadbeach Alliance, a company which works with initiatives for economic increase in the Broadbeach area.
The group’s chief executive Jan McComirck said, “there is no doubt in my mind that over the next four months there is something for everyone on offer in Broadbeach, from families to couples, music lovers to foodies we have tried to cater for every taste”.
Despite mixed opinions, both Mr Rothenburg and Ms Calder said they had received new business from both local residents and tourists alike. The Chamber of Commerce hopes this will continue as it has over the last six months.