Phones running hot as CQ businesses call out for help
MARY Carroll’s phone has not stopped ringing for the past three weeks.
The CEO of Capricorn Enterprise said the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic was like nothing Central Queensland had experienced before and previous droughts, floods, fires and cyclones didn’t come close in comparison.
Ms Carroll is working around the clock at her East St office in Rockhampton along with other staff, albeit with distancing measures in place.
“It’s like living in a Stephen King novel isn’t it?”Ms Carroll said.
“I’ve been on the phone constantly for the past three weeks.”
Capricorn Enterprise is a not-for-profit, apolitical, membership-based organisation.
It is one of Queensland’s 13 official membership-based regional tourism organisations representing a large part of CQ from the Central Highlands in the west to the Keppel Islands in the east.
The organisation provides economic development support to regional industry in Rockhampton and the Capricorn Coast, acting as an independent voice for the business community.
In tough times like these, Ms Carroll said she wanted people to know that she was also happy to provide emotional support or whatever support she could.
“The uncertainty is something that everyone is trying to grapple with,” Ms Carroll said.
“While everyone appreciates the Prime Minister doesn’t have a crystal ball, businesses are telling me loud and clear, if only we had a definitive date to work towards, that would provide them some hope and structure.
“The big challenge for us right now, is we don’t have any definitive timeline.
“That is causing additional stress and unrest.
“No-one is blaming the government.
“And businesses understand that we are in uncharted waters.
“My job is to stay strong for them and as a business leader they lean on me for support.
“That’s why my phone won’t stop because they just need someone to talk to.
“I tell them we’re here for them and we’ve sent them a copious amount of information.
“We’ll keep doing that and we’re here for anyone who needs to talk.”
Ms Carroll said there was a dedicated COVID-19 section on the Capricorn Enterprise website which was being updated daily with information for businesses.