Drought hurting NSW businesses: survey

A new survey shows the drought is also having a major impact on regional businesses in NSW.
A new survey shows the drought is also having a major impact on regional businesses in NSW.

NSW's crippling drought has hurt more than eight in 10 regional businesses across the state, new figures show.

A survey by the NSW Business Chamber found 84 per cent had been negatively impacted by the big dry - and about a third of those said the viability of their business was at risk due to the current conditions.

Cash flow was also an issue for the vast majority of the 1000 respondents, a number of whom indicated they may need to cut staff as a result.

"The impact on primary producers needs to be front of mind, however, the drought is also affecting regional businesses at all parts of the supply chain including retailers, manufacturers, construction, and tourism operators with revenue down across the board," chief executive Stephen Cartwright said in a statement.

The state's peak business body has called for a number of targeted measures, including a drought-focused "business concierge service" to help connect non-farm business with government programs.

Meanwhile, the NSW government has teamed up with a not-for-profit group to help manage offers of help for farmers, their families and communities experiencing hardship as a result of the drought.

The Department of Primary Industries said the partnership will make sure donations coming in are matched with people who deserve it most.

Australian Associated Press