'Tracking very well': Andrew McKerrell looks forward to Peel's economic recovery post-COVID

Photo: File Image.
Photo: File Image.

How is Mandurah tracking to recover from COVID-19?

Businesses across the Peel are tracking very well to recover from the economic devastation of COVID-19 as fortnightly survey data since mid-March has indicated confidence is trending upwards.

However, there is still much work to done.

Our tourism, hospitality and retail sectors have been hit the hardest with many suffering an immediate and total loss of all business.

These businesses will need the community to rally around them and support them as they rebuild.

How important is collaboration in mapping out the road to recovery?

Collaboration at this point in time is incredibly important.

Whether it be cross-promotional or service packaging opportunities between businesses, or larger government economic development and capital works projects - all stakeholders in this recovery need to be working together.

This has already been the case with all local, state and federal government agencies and private industry bodies actively communicating, sharing knowledge, ideas and resources in order to ensure all stakeholders are working as efficiently as possible.

The efforts we have seen in recent months have been outstanding and all parties should be commended on their efforts.

How does the City of Mandurah's Restart Mandurah plan help with this?

The City's plans outlined under the COVID $5 million Restart Mandurah fund will be of great assistance to our economic recovery efforts.

With 15 local projects being brought forward and changes to procurement practices, it will be imperative that these projects be completed and delivered by local trades and other small business operators in order to fulfill to intended economic outcomes.

This recovery period will provide the perfect opportunity to directly stimulate the localised economy through actively engaging local businesses and employing local people to complete the works required.

Our business community has the capacity to fill these needs, and, if gaps in capability do arise, we can use this opportunity to upskill our businesses and people.

How important is it to focus on the economic recovery now that community transmission is well contained?

From a business perspective, a focus on economic recovery is of the utmost importance now that we have COVID-19 under control.

An unprecedented amount of damage has been done to our economy, both locally and nationally, which is evident within the drastic increases in unemployment numbers.

The sooner businesses can reopen and begin trading at full capacity, the sooner we can get our community back to work.

All of our local governments have either announced or are formulating their own recovery plans specific to their individual communities with many announcing support packages or expediting works and maintenance projects.

How can locals help with this economic recovery?

As a population-driven localised economy, local spend will be a key aspect to our economic recovery.

Many of us have continued to support our local small business community throughout this period, however, it is imperative that this support and patronage doesn't stop once they doors reopen as this is when the real battle begins.

Every $10 spent in a small local business results in being $50 injected back into our economy.

Local businesses create local job opportunities therefore we must do what we can at a grassroots level to help our community as a whole rebuild.

Andrew McKerrell is the general manager of the Peel Chamber of Commerce and Industry.