The number of businesses affected by COVID-19 are rising
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Over 60% Australian businesses affected by COVID-19

The number of Australian businesses affected by COVID-19 is rising quickly, with 60 per cent reporting that they’ve been affected, an increase from only 15 per cent in mid-February.

The statistics come from a special Roy Morgan Snap SMS Survey of 1,148 Australian businesses, which found: 

  • 17 per cent of businesses report being affected ‘A great deal’ by COVID-19 (up 15 percentage points from a month ago); 
  • 31 per cent have been ‘somewhat’ affected (up 23 percentage points); and, 
  • A further 12 per cent (up 7 percentage points) have been affected ‘A little’.

Roy Morgan Chief Executive Officer Michele Levine says the COVID-19 coronavirus presents an unprecedented threat to the Australian economy with stock-market falls of around 30 per cent over the last three weeks being only one indicator of the trouble facing businesses. 

“Just under a fifth of businesses report being affected ‘A great deal’ while nearly a third say they have been ‘somewhat’ affected.”

Publishers who also organise events may find themselves affected, in addition to publishers whose advertisers have been impacted or are concerned about the consequences of COVID-19. 

Australian businesses affected by the COVID-19 coronavirus. March 2020 cf. February 2020. Source: Roy Morgan.

What are the Australian industries most affected by COVID-19?

Roy Morgan found that over 70 per cent of businesses in the following categories report being affected by COVID-19 to some degree: 

  • Manufacturing (78 per cent) 
  • Wholesale trade (74 per cent) 
  • Recreation and Personal (83 per cent) 
  • Information Media and Telecommunications (75 per cent) 
  • Property and Business Services (74 per cent) and 
  • Transport, Postal and Warehousing (72 per cent). 

At a state based level, the biggest impact from COVID-19 coronavirus has been felt in South Australia (68 per cent of businesses report being affected), New South Wales (65 per cent) and Victoria (64 per cent). There were big impacts noted in Tasmania as well on a small sample of businesses interviewed.

Are small, medium or large businesses most affected by COVID-19? 

Analysing businesses on the annual level of turnover shows a huge majority of larger businesses have been affected by the COVID-19 coronavirus.

81 per cent of ‘small businesses’ with an annual turnover of between $1-$5 million report being affected by COVID-19 coronavirus – higher than businesses of any other size.

This compares to 73 per cent of ‘large businesses’ with an annual turnover of $50 million or above and 71 per cent of ‘medium businesses’ with an annual turnover of between $5-$50 million.

Levine said “When it comes to turnover over 70 per cent of businesses with a turnover of at least $1 million report being affected by the COVID-19 coronavirus – dealing a devastating blow to an economy just starting to recover from the widespread summer bushfires.

“The Morrison Government has already promised over $20 billion in stimulus to keep the Australian economy moving however that figure will need to be raised many times over to truly protect the Australian economy from a devastating recession the likes of which Australia hasn’t seen this World War II.”

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