REVEALED: Average business revenue down 29 per cent
NORTHERN NSW businesses have endured a 29 per cent downfall on their revenue, according to a national online survey.
But local businesses seem to have made a strong commitment to keep their workers in jobs, despite the negative outlook.
The Australian Business Economic Impact Survey (ABEIS), by Australian company Remplan, is an ongoing national survey measuring the impact and resilience of businesses during the covid pandemic.
Remplan's principal economist, Matthew Nichol, said the results included the Byron Bay, Lismore, Kyogle, Richmond Valley, Clarence Valley and Tweed areas.
Mr Nichol said the reported downfall in revenue in the area, at 29 per cent, was higher than the state average for NSW, which was 21.6 per cent.
"There is quite a bit of variation, with some businesses considerably more impacted than others," he said.
"Arts and recreation services, including galleries, festivals and sports facilities, for instance, are the most significantly impacted in that area.
"Our forecasters think this sector will be the slowest to recover.
The Remplan executive said local businesses were trying really hard to keep their workers.
"This is consistent with other regional areas: staffing levels are not as badly impacted as revenue," Mr Nichol said.
"In Northern NSW, the survey currently shows staffing levels reduced by 17 per cent.
"This has to do with the effect of Jobkeeper and other economic stimulus, moderating the number of people that otherwise would have lost their jobs, but we are also seeing that some businesses in some areas, like yours, that they are retaining staff, particularly in areas like professional services, even though revenues have dropped significantly.
"With professional services, it's all about human capital, and I think they are doing everything they can to retain their staff.
"Other sectors, like retail trade, show the same numbers for staffing and revenue, in Northern NSW both are down at 31 per cent."
The economist explained that, based on the latest results collated, 87 per cent of Northern NSW businesses that answered the survey said they were 'negatively impacted' by the pandemic.
Only 7 per cent of participating business owners said they were not impacted by the Covid-19 outbreak and don't expect to be.
Mr Nichol said the survey will be ongoing, with results reported periodically, and he called Northern NSW business to continue being part of the online questionnaire.
The survey is available from https://surveys.remplan.com.au/s3/REMPLAN-COVID-19-ABEIS.