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Business Impact of COVID-19

05 May 2020 by News Desk

COVID-19 emergency is having a continued impact on Australian business and the people they employ.

Almost three quarters of Australian businesses (72%) reported that reduced cash flow is expected to have an adverse impact on business over the next two months, according to results from the third Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) survey on Business Impacts of COVID-19.

ABS Head of Industry Statistics John Shepherd said reduced demand for goods and services was expected to impact about seven in ten businesses (69%) over the next two months, while two in five businesses (41%) expect a reduced ability to pay operating expenses.

The survey also found that three in five (61%) businesses had registered or intended to register for the JobKeeper Payment scheme during the COVID-19 emergency.

“Of those businesses registered or intending to register, 73% expected more than half of their employees to the eligible for the scheme,” Mr Shepherd said.

“The survey also found that of the businesses that did not intend to register for the JobKeeper Payment scheme, 55% reported that it was because the business was not eligible.

“Less than one in ten (7%) reported not registering due to insufficient cash flow to continue paying staff before JobKeeper payments commence.”

Business Impact of COVID-19

The new ABS survey results (as of 4th May) are a change compared to March results, when two thirds of businesses reporting reduced demand for goods and services (64%) and reduced cash flow or turnover (66%) in the March Business Impacts of COVID-19 survey

Two in five businesses reported that they expect uncertain financial markets as a result of COVID-19 to have an adverse impact on business in the next two months; several businesses commented that this uncertainty was specifically related to the value of the Australian dollar and commodity prices.

More than half of all businesses in the Wholesale trade (66%), Retail trade (59%) and Manufacturing (59%) industries reported that supply chain uncertainty was expected to have an adverse impact on business.

Several businesses commented on expected logistical issues due to inter-state travel restrictions & border closures.
Government restrictions such as social distancing measures have had a significant impact on the operating environment for businesses in Accommodation and food services.

In the March Business Impacts of COVID-19 survey nine out of ten businesses in Accommodation and food services reported that government restrictions had an adverse impact on operations.

Businesses in this industry are anticipating that these restrictions will continue to have an impact in the next two months; with 84% reporting that Government restrictions were expected have an adverse impact on their business in the next two months

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