RIDING IT OUT: Alan and Julie Davis, of Alstonville, owner/operators of In Good Taste, in their home-based industrial kitchen.
RIDING IT OUT: Alan and Julie Davis, of Alstonville, owner/operators of In Good Taste, in their home-based industrial kitchen. Jacklyn Wagner

Catering industry becomes a risky business

CATERING is tipped to be one of the riskiest businesses in 2009, but Alstonville caterers Alan and Julie Davis are looking on the bright side.

Their business, In Good Taste, has been established for 11 years and they've vowed to get through the tough times.

But a new report from researchers IBISWorld has predicted businesses like theirs will be among the 10 most vulnerable industries.

The report analysed 500 industries that would be 'most at risk' during the economic slowdown.

The top 10 list included tyre manufacturers; car retailers; international airlines; real estate; boat builders; silver, lead and zinc ore mining; investment banking and securities brokerage; bricklayers; catering and food service contractors; and prawn fishing.

But Mr Davis said he was not concerned his industry was on the list.

“We all wish we had a crystal ball, but we haven't noticed a negative downturn,” he said.

“In fact, it's picked up a bit. People still celebrate their big occasions.

“I have noticed people are shopping around and looking for value for money.

“But we're not - touch wood - overly concerned yet.”

Real estate agents are also expected to feel the pinch this year, according to the research.

However, Lismore Real Estate's Chris Harley described his company as 'match fit'.

“I don't think we're as risky as other areas. Our agency is not unviable,” he said.

“We've already seen sales slow and I expect that will continue.

“I think most industries will suffer.”

But the lure of the Northern Rivers should keep the local real estate industry going strong, Mr Harley said.

“It's a good growth area and it's still the Australian dream to own your own home.”

IBISWorld has predicted industries such as aged care, health and veterinary services will remain strong.

The child care and cosmetics industries will be also safe.

Industries at risk

1.Tyre manufacturing; 2. Car retailing; 3. International airlines; 4. Real estate agents; 5. Boatbuilding; 6. Silver, lead and zinc ore mining; 7. Investment banking and securities brokerage; 8. Bricklaying; 9. Catering and food service contractors; 10. Prawn fishing



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