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Taking the CBD Heartbeat During COVID-19

Peter May
Peter May

What We've Observed Through Our Sydney Business Survey. During August 2020 the CBD Sydney Chamber completed a Sydney CBD-focused research project in collaboration with Vincents Accounting & Insolvency and the Sydney Business Chamber.

Did We Really Need More Surveys?

We think so. Australian businesses have been extremely fortunate to have access to a range of well-documented statistics and information on the impact of this pandemic from a number of authoritative sources. This includes the Australian and State governments as well as research-based papers such as the recently released Back on Track: What businesses need to recover from the economic impacts of COVID-19 Report* by peak business organisation Business NSW in June 2020.

It is universally agreed that information is power; and business only stands to benefit from accurate and up-to-date information to assist make critical decisions.

In late 2019 this group decided to collaborate on research designed to provide insights around the thoughts and intentions of CBD-based businesses.

Why? Well before the pandemic, businesses were grappling with competitive and structural challenges that threatened their prosperity. The outcome of the research was intended to identify ways our collective group could better support their future success.

Then, not far into 2020, businesses faced off with COVID-19.

This sharpened the research focus. It became a COVID-19 Survey among businesses with a focus on the CBD and CBD-fringe including the vibrant business precincts of Pyrmont, Surry Hills and Ultimo.

The Survey was completed in late August and the results presented during October as part of Small Business Month.

This research becomes a benchmark against which to measure how these businesses fare into the near future.

Photography by Michael Thompson, Instagram: michael _ thompson _ photography


Which Business and What Do We Want To Know?

All local government areas have a diversity of business types.

The CBD and surrounding precincts are no different and include a range of business owners and businesses across a broad spectrum from professional, consultancy, creative services and media, legal and financial services through to retailers, tourism and hospitality.

This Survey was open to all businesses. While the Sydney CBD represents over 20,000 SMEs (accounting for over 25% of the economic output and 83% of total people employed), large businesses were also invited to take part.

The research poses the basic statistical questions that provide insights with respect to business size, employee numbers and turnover - as well as those to be used to provide a forward-looking view of where they might go from here.

The Survey probes on:

  • What are the stresses and disruptors in your business?
  • What has been the impact on your personal health, well-being and mental health over recent months?
  • What is the likelihood that your business will need to change shape to move forward?
  • What is the impact on your future business finance needs?
  • Following the working-from-home revolution, what are the emerging trends for office-based businesses?
  • Businesses have embraced technology more quickly than ever before - so how is smart technology re-shaping your business?
  • How can Business Chambers assist in dealing with the effects of COVID-19?

Where To From Here?

The results contain some startling insights. Whether your business is located within or beyond the Sydney CBD - these observations have value.

The release of the Report coincides with Small Business Month and the CBD Sydney Chamber in partnership with the Business Alliance NSW plan to present this as part of their virtual event programme.

Photography by Michael Thompson, Instagram: michael _ thompson _ photography


Membership Counts - Be A Member

This Chamber connects, engages and supports businesses and people in business to achieve the best possible outcome - whatever the business conditions.

Right now, these are probably more difficult than at any time in recent memories. By providing access to clear information, business support services, upskilling opportunities, the roundtable specialist series and the Women in Business Network, the Chamber can be a valuable support in moving through the current economic challenges.

That's why Membership Counts.

Contact Peter May - Executive Officer CBD Sydney Chamber on 02 9350 8103 or 0437 872 052.

Published on by BiziNet

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