Open for Business – Roy Morgan Survey
It is estimated that 26% of Australian businesses have been affected by bushfires.
A special Roy Morgan Snap SMS Survey of 1,308 Australian businesses reveals that, of those businesses, 7% have been affected ‘a great deal’, 10% have been ‘somewhat’ affected and 9% have been affected ‘a little’.
Many of those industries most heavily impacted include the Accommodation and Food services sector, which includes travel and tourism.
Businesses in Queensland and NSW have been the hardest hit with 12% of Queensland businesses and 11% of NSW businesses affected ‘a great deal’ – far higher than any other States.
Studying the impact
In general, businesses in NSW are the most likely to have been impacted with over a third (35%) affected in some way compared to around a quarter of businesses in Queensland (25%) and Victoria (24%). In contrast, only 16% of businesses in WA and 11% in Tasmania have been affected at all.
Asked how their businesses had been affected, business owners cited:
Cancelled bookings and events
Lack of access to the business or properties because of the fires
Staff not available for work because of diversion to fighting fires
Employees sick from smoke
Employees unable to get to work
Air quality and smoke haze
Lack of tourists
Burned out entirely
Roy Morgan Chief Executive Officer Michele Levine said that although the bushfires have generated a high level of media interest, Australia was “open for business”.
“For those businesses that have been affected to some degree, most have been affected only a little or somewhat. Only 7% of businesses have been affected a great deal by the bushfires. Unfortunately for those businesses in the areas that have been hit directly by the bushfires, this could mean the business has been completely wiped out or severely impacted by the lack of tourists and staff available for work as many have been off fighting the fires in these areas.
“Unsurprisingly, the biggest impact has been in NSW which has borne the brunt of the catastrophe. Over a third of businesses in NSW have been affected by the bushfires – far higher than any other state. However, this still means nearly two-thirds of businesses in NSW haven’t been affected at all.
“An important factor to appreciate when analysing the impact of the bushfires is to differentiate between short-term impacts created by staff missing work to fight the fires and potential longer-term impacts such as a sustained drop in tourism to directly affected areas and even Australia as a whole.
“It is vitally important that the Federal and State Governments step up and continue to inject funding into bushfire affected communities and that the Australian community at large responds to the devastation by returning to holiday spots that have lost a huge amount of business over the Summer.
“Tourism is Australia’s fifth largest export earner valued at over $20 billion annually and it’s imperative that locals, as well as potential tourists from overseas, are made aware that there are many Australians eager to welcome tourists from far and wide to Australian shores – and there’s plenty to do and see!”
No-one can dispute the disruption and heartache caused by the bushfires, but one thing is certain: Australia will recover. Be it bushfires, cyclones or coronavirus, the resilience of Aussie businesses always shines through.