He said the biggest negative impact for his business during the boom was staff retention.
He said the biggest negative impact for his business during the boom was staff retention.

LISTEN: Gladstone boom wasn't fun: RockSalt owner

WHILE most businesses in Gladstone reported downturn in business, higher costs and over supply as negative impacts from the recent boom, things are a little different for RockSalt.

Owner Jason Faint said the biggest negative impact for his business during the boom was staff retention.

"You didn't actually make any more money because you were spending more time training because you weren't holding onto your staff… they were leaving to go to other jobs," he told The Observer.

"They were using hospitality as a gateway job until they found their ideal job, which just made it quite difficult for us and made our level of service a lower than what it is at the moment.

Mr Faint's comments come after the release of the Boom, Bust or Reset survey conducted by the Gladstone Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc.

The survey was completed by 253 businesses in the region and showed that 87% of respondents struggled with a downturn in business following the boom, 67% struggled with higher costs and 32% with oversupply.

Those were the top three negative impacts businesses felt as a result.

The other negative impacts included competition, money not being spent locally, out of town businesses moving in, other industries paying higher wages and staff retention.

"The hospitality wage is nowhere near as good as what the island was paying," Mr Faint explained.

He said the high cost of living - high rents - was also a problem.

"It just wasn't an enjoyable town to be in at that stage," Jason said.

To deal with these issues, Rocksalt set in place a business plan.

"I had two communal houses that I use to put people up in," Mr Faint said.

"I had a lot of 457s at that stage as well because realistically that was all I could find at that time and it was a way I could hold on to people for a longer period of time because they were locked into that contract.

"At the moment, the quality of service in Gladstone has risen so high because everyone is looking for jobs."

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