Lae Businesses Reduce Staffing By 35 Per Cent, Says Chamber
Businesses around the world are hit with this economic pressure of coronavirus and Lae is no exception with business already facing mounting pressure.
The Lae Chamber of Commerce has reported that businesses across the city are faced with the reduction of approximately 30 to 35 per cent of their employee staff.
LCCI president John Byrne said in some cases they have been made redundant, others have stood down until a level of new-normality resumes and others have been split-shifting their staffs.
Mr Byrne said the reduced trading hours and less customers with disposable income is affecting profitability and sustainability of businesses.
He added that the necessary wind down of markets to sell fresh produce and betel nut coupled with restricted movement of produce and goods up and down the Highlands Highway have also impacted the business cycle.
“This has impacted on our peoples’ ability in the informal market to earn an income and therefore spend it; this is the cycle of cash and barter movement in PNG which currently underpins our economy and is badly hit,” Mr Byrne said.
“When the informal area has less cash, the business houses suffer and we have less employment,” LCCI also reports that businesses do not want to stand down employees, nor terminate them but are often left with no choice.
Many of these businesses are retaining or rotating shifts to keep people employed but as this Covid-19 journey evolves it is harder to do.
“As one business struggles so another is affected, more people are out of work and or displaced and family life, domestic violence and other social issues expands,” Mr Byrne said.
Despite the issues faced and the economy being hit with the pandemic Covid-19 and its uncertainty LCCI with other stakeholders in the provincial response team plans to keeping the economy moving and protecting the people.