ABS Details the Impact of COVID on Businesses

ABS Details the Impact of COVID on Businesses
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The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has released a report that details the impact of COVID on businesses around Australia. 

Key amongst its findings is the fact that “two-thirds of businesses report a decrease in revenue compared to last year,” and the fact that “almost 1-in-3 of those businesses report revenue decreased by 50% or more.” 

Three-in-four businesses around Australia have continued to trade with some modifications to its operations, while three-out-of-five businesses sought external advice on how to continue operating through COVID-19 lockdowns and restrictions. 

ABS Details the Impact of COVID on Businesses
Graphic courtesy of the ABS

The ABS took data from 2,000 businesses around Australia between the 10th of June and 17th of June, with the results pointing to a significant drop in confidence for Australian businesses and consumers alike. 

Just under three-quarters (73%) of respondents said they were operating under “modified conditions,” which was a 3% increase over the 70% reporting the same in May of 2020. 

Breaking this down by organisation size, 72% of small businesses with 0-19 employees continued to operate, 85% of medium-sized businesses (20-199 employees) and 90% of large businesses with 200 employees or more continued to operate through pandemic conditions. 

The ABS writes that “by industry, businesses in Accommodation and food services were the most likely to have introduced innovation (78%) and changed operating hours, payment methods or suppliers (74%), while businesses in Health care and social assistance were the most likely to have made modifications related to physical distancing and hygiene (93%) and workforce changes (77%).” 

Sector-by-Sector Drop in Revenue

  • Education & Training revenue down 87%
  • Accommodation and Food Services down 84%
  • Information Media and Telecommunications down 80%
  • Administrative and Support Services down 78%
  • Art & Recreation Services down 78%
  • Manufacturing down 74%
  • Rental, Hiring and Real Estate Services down 71%
  • Retail Trade down 65%
  • Wholesale Trade down 60%
  • Construction down 50%

A mere 8% of Australian businesses that took part in the survey reported an increase in revenue compared to the same time last year. 

ABS Details the Impact of COVID on Businesses
Graphic Courtesy of the ABS

This has led as many as 60% of Australian businesses to seek external assistance and advice to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, which included online or print information on regulatory guidelines, as well as paid direct consultation from external advisors. 

Breaking this down by size, 59% of small businesses sought advice, while 72% of medium sized and 66% of large businesses turned to some form of external advice to weather the economic storm. 

The ABS says that “businesses operating under modified conditions were twice as likely to report having sought external advice (70%) compared to those operating as normal (35%).” 

ABS Details the Impact of COVID on Businesses

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