Business should 'have a go' in recession: Fox


Lindsay Fox not sure if tide is in or out, but says the credit crunch shouldn’t scare business from “having a go”

Business should 'have a go' in recession: Fox
Business should 'have a go' in recession: Fox
By Jason Whittaker

Lindsay Fox isn’t sure whether the tide is in or out on the economy, but he says the credit crunch shouldn’t scare business from "having a go".

The patriarch of the giant Linfox transport and logistics group says Australia can work through what he says is "definitely no question" a recession.

Fox, speaking to ATN in Brisbane at the opening of a new Linfox distribution facility, says the current economic environment is the most uncertain he has seen.

"When you’ve been in business for 50, 55 years you go through these periods all the time. But this one has had more uncertainty to it than any of the others," he says.

"This is like what your father told you when you were a kid about the Great Depression and all the time when it bubbles along down the bottom there you say ‘oh well it can’t go any further down’."

But he says most of the company’s key markets are holding up.

"Across the board people are still eating, they’re still drinking, nobody is starving at this stage," he says.

"The only one that’s really down is building and steel. Everything else in the economy is rolling along. It’s not on fire."

Fox says the first downturn he faced was in 1961 – "and I doubled my business, I went from one truck to two".

"The best way to attack it is to get up and have a go.

"It’s incredible what you can do when you believe you can work through it. This is why it’s tremendously important to work with the Government, with friends and help people.

"This is the time you put your hand up to help, this is the time you put yourself out to help. If all of Australia does that we’ll get through it easy."

Fox also has some advice for operators battling with the banks on loan repayments and refinancing – be honest.

"If you go to them and you’ve got a problem, put the cards on the table, be honest with them and 99 percent – that might be too many – nine out of 10 times they’ll respond," he says.

Fox was at biscuit manufacturer Arnott’s to open a new $30 million purpose-built distribution centre, linking with the manufacturing plant next door.

An air bridge connects the bakery with a barcode-driven automated sorting system and dispatch area, allowing goods to be manufactured, warehoused and shipped without leaving the site.

Fox says the facility, employing 60 people, is a commitment to leverage new technology to support local growth and innovation.

Treasurer Wayne Swan, also at the opening, told reporters Arnott’s and Linfox were an example to other manufacturers and suppliers on how to improve efficiency to better compete against overseas imports.

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