‘Look after your customers’

Shops need to provide better customer service to stop businesses from closing in Batemans Bay, the Chamber of Commerce has warned.

Following this week’s closure of Boral Timber and Batemans Bay’s Go-Lo store, Batemans Bay Chamber of Commerce president Natasha Driscoll said to ensure no more businesses had to close, shops should take better care of their customers.

“It is also fair to say that some shops don’t know how to treat customers, these are the shops that don’t think they have a problem and are not interested in advice on how to better look after local shoppers and visitors to the region,” she said.

Ms Driscoll said people also needed to step up and shop locally to stop local businesses from closing.

“Remember that every purchase that leaves Batemans Bay is money that will never be going back into the community and local economy,” she said.

Boral Timber sacked 18 staff at its Princes Highway sawmill on Monday, blaming the declining construction industry.

The same day, Go-Lo closed their doors as part of the company’s national restructure. Moruya Country Meats has also closed and Ned Kelly Bargains is set to close at the end of December.

Ms Driscoll wasn’t shocked at the news of the business closures. However, she was concerned.

According to the Chamber, these closures were part of a “national rationalisation and oversupply in some sectors”.

“It is sad but sometimes inevitable as consumer wants change and the market changes,” Ms Driscoll said.

“Also remember that both businesses that closed were large multi-national companies.”

She said Batemans Bay Chamber of Commerce would continue to support businesses that came to them.

“Our relationship with the NSW Business Chamber of Commerce and the Small Business Commissioner are great avenues for local business to gain the support and help they need during tougher times,” she said.

Ms Driscoll also said the closure of a business didn’t just affect staff.

“When shops are forced to close through financial difficulty, it is the other local businesses which suffer too.”

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