There is an air of optimism about businesses in the City of Gosnells, with data revealing local residents are backing their local stores in the wake of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Between Sunday May 1 and Friday May 20, Google mobility data for businesses in the City of Gosnells showed an average jump in visitor numbers of 29.3 per cent compared to pre-pandemic levels, well above the metropolitan average of 8.3 per cent.
The latest round of Google mobility data, to July 9, indicates that Gosnells is still leading the way, with retail and recreational visitation up 24 per cent and visitation to supermarkets and pharmacies up 28 per cent.
The City of Belmont is the only local government in the metro area to reach similar figures, up 29 per cent and 24 per cent respectively, while neighbouring City of Canning sits on 10 per cent and 12 per cent.
For Gosnells Mayor Terresa Lynes, she believes the city’s recovery from the height of the COVID-19 pandemic is well underway.
“It seems that businesses in the City of Gosnells are recovering from COVID and have been very busy according to the Google data,” she said.
“I do my shopping locally and I’ve been to a few local cafes and restaurants and they all seem to be busy and doing well.
“The great thing about Gosnells is we’ve got everything and there’s plenty of reasons to shop local.”
She said she was unsure who was driving the increases – visitor or locals – but suspected it was local support for local businesses at had led the surge.
“I couldn’t say for sure if it’s visitors or locals who are driving this increase but I’d assume its locals, as a community we love to support out local businesses and that’s been tough during the pandemic but it seems like we’re getting back out there.
“The data shows an increase from 2020 levels so it seems like the City of Gosnells is going up and up.
“I’m not saying everyone is doing well, there are still businesses that are struggling, but I was in Fika on Brix lately during the middle of the day and the were extremely busy which is great for them.”
Fika on Brix owner Imelda Latief has no doubt as to who is driving the increased visitor rates.
“I think since the start of the pandemic, because people were working from home and just needed a break, we’ve actually gained customers,” she said.
“There was an initial slight downturn but now business is really starting to pick up, we’re extremely busy.
“But it’s local, local, local, they’re definitely driving the numbers.
“The increase in customers is great but staffing is still a problem, front of house staff we are doing okay but it is very hard to get good experienced chefs, and I think that’s a problem across the hospitality sector.”
A report released last November by the Committee for Perth, authored by University of WA academics, revealed the City of Gosnells had consistently demonstrated better than average visitation growth in retail and recreation following the pandemic.
The report revealed between February 2020 and August 2021, the average monthly visitation to retail and recreation sites had increased by 11.5 per cent. Six months on, the upward trend has continued.