Beer and prawns to help CQ businesses on the brink

STRUGGLING: Fishco CQ owner and Yeppoon small businessman Luke Hargreaves speaks out about his arduous ordeal as a seafood retailer.
STRUGGLING: Fishco CQ owner and Yeppoon small businessman Luke Hargreaves speaks out about his arduous ordeal as a seafood retailer. Chris Ison Rokcfishco

SEAFOOD retailer Luke Hargreaves sees only one option as the most attractive for his struggling Central Queensland business - walking away.

In a "weakening Central Queensland small business industry", trying to sell seafood at a profit has become a near-impossible cause for the former Katter Party candidate.

The struggling business climate has even taken its toll on his personal health and his family.

He believes there are other family businesses doing tough and he wants to develop a small business forum so people share their issues and support each other.

"Remember a problem shared is a problem halved," he said.

"I can put up a venue for a get-together and organise a couple of support agency speakers to address what many operators are carrying in their minds as anxiety and depression.

"So a beer and prawn night at Fisho with some good speakers is available for interested folks. If anyone is interested or if you just want to have a chat over the phone in confidence then don't hesitate to contact me (see below)."

Mr Hargreaves spoke out about being on "the rough end of the pineapple" during the economic crisis unfolding throughout the region.

During 2014, his business sales between December 2013 and October 2014 have dropped by $170,000, Mr Hargreaves revealed.

His seafood operations however carried a low debt-to-equity ratio: only $70,000 debt for a business valued at $350,000.

He said his business had its fair share of stresses from the Gladstone Harbour Western Basin Dredging project and a local government works program.

Despite these pressures though, Mr Hargreaves said he continued to try to overcome losses and grow business.


Business forum

Mr Hargreaves plans to develop a forum for small business operators in CQ

If you wish to be involved call The Morning Bulletin on 4930 4253.

Topics:  beer business central queensland commerce prawns seafood

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