Lord Howe Island liquor licence holders have voiced their frustration over recent changes to the way they purchase alcohol from the Lord Howe Island Board.
Island physiotherapist Tim Cruikshank, who runs a bar called The Crooked Post, said wholesalers have been previously been entitled to a 10 per cent discount but recently that was cut to five per cent.
"They've wiped the five per cent profitability from the people who rely on it," he said.
The island community has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, given the strong reliance on visitation to boost its tourism industry.
According to the Lord Howe Island Board website, the Liquor Store provides a profitable source of revenue for the board.
It's the island's only wholesale supplier to restaurants, shops and other licensed premises.
"Operational profits are directed entirely towards provision of visitor facilities, public services, environmental management and asset renewal for the benefit of the community at large," the website states.
"The impact of the burden of these profits is spread widely across the local community, including visiting tourists and avoids the very small local community bearing the full burden of alternate forms of revenue raising to fund board activities."
Lord Howe Island Board acting chief executive Angie Stringer said the board has taken the approach to continue offering a five per cent early payment discount for commercial customers, who pay in full within their credit terms.
"This is despite interest rates having dropped to an all-time low of 0.1 per cent since last year," she said.
"The reduced discount is consistent with the discount provided to commercial customers who pay in full within their credit terms."
However Mr Cruikshank questioned why the change has come at a time when there haven't been any visitors to alleviate the financial pressure already felt by so many.
Mr Cruikshank is disappointed there wasn't any communication or forewarning about the board's decision.
He said the island's alcohol price is already heightened compared to the mainland, due to the cost of freight.
The Lord Howe Island Golf Club and Lord Howe Island Bowling Club are community organisations run by volunteers who have been hit hard by the discount change.
Lord Howe Island Golf Club president Anthony Riddle said the board should have a more modern approach for its business structure.
Mr Riddle said as alcohol is expensive, it's forcing visitors who stay on the island for longer periods to purchase their island from the mainland, rather than from wholesalers on the island.
"It's a kick in the teeth because the island has been closed to visitors for so long," he said.
Mr Riddle and Mr Cruikshank want the Lord Howe Island Board to open up a discussion with businesses and community groups to explain the process behind their decision making.
What else is making news, sport?
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content:
Bookmark our website
Make sure you are signed up for our breaking and regular headlines newsletters
You can support us with a subscription
Follow us on Twitter: @portmacnews
Follow us on Instagram: @portmacnews
Follow us on Google News