Ai Group’s latest monthly report on business experiences in COVID crisis

Ai Group has today released the latest in its series of monthly reports on Australia’s business experiences of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.

Throughout 2020, Ai Group has provided assistance, information and advice to thousands of businesses experiencing the consequences of activity restrictions and reductions in income due to this pandemic.

As part of this process, we have collected detailed feedback from over 1,500 Australian businesses about their experiences through various sources.

In September 87% of businesses reported negative impacts from COVID-19. The most frequently reported impact every month has been a sharp drop in customer demand. This tapered off somewhat in July and August but rose again in September with Victoria’s ‘second wave’ of COVID-19 cases and restrictions.

Innes Willox, Ai Group’s Chief Executive said: “The restrictions on activity in Victoria was the second most cited impact with 21 per cent of businesses nationally identifying this factor. As would be expected, the Victorian restrictions were most severe in Victoria but were also a major factor for NSW businesses. In Victoria the inability to visit their own or their customers’ work sites was identified by close to half of businesses (47%) as a major impact.

“Across the country the proportion of businesses pointing to improved business conditions was dragged lower for a second month by the experience of Victorian businesses.

“Reflecting these responses, businesses identified that easing activity restrictions and easing border restriction as the steps that would most assist businesses manage through the crisis. Lifting activity and border restrictions were both ranked ahead of financial assistance as measures that would be of greatest value to businesses in their management of the crisis.

Ai Group’s Report Business Experiences of the COVID-19 pandemic: March to September 2020 is available here.

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