The challenges associated with the pandemic continue. Many businesses with which we engage are struggling to know what the future may hold. One of our key roles is to connect businesses to assistance and to identify meaningful data that can be used to generate influence and advocacy among those in government.
In May 2021 the CBD Sydney Chamber in partnership with Vincents conducted a second Sydney Business Impact Survey among businesses within the Sydney CBD and immediate surrounds to understand the extent of the effects of the pandemic in the areas potentially experiencing longer lasting effects and potentially permanent business environmental changes. It draws directly on the Sydney commercial community made up of large, medium, small, and micro businesses and analyses the different ways and different extents that businesses have been impacted and highlights the different challenges they face.
Let's Share Some Insights
It's worthwhile examining some of the insights gleaned through the Sydney Business Impact Survey.
- Continued Government Financial Assistance: despite the economy re-opening, some businesses have not had the opportunity to sufficiently recover, in particular, the retail, hospitality, travel and tourism sectors. Ongoing financial support will be of significant benefit to help get them back on their feet.
- Regulatory Environment: as businesses in all industries seek to adapt and recover from the impacts of COVID-19, the waving of certain government fees and charges in specifically impacted sectors, such as hospitality, and travel and tourism may be an option to further assist the recovery.
- Statutory Assistance with Landlord Negotiations: some survey respondents flagged issues around negotiations with their landlord(s). The main themes identified were agreeing on the application of the Commercial Tenancies Mandatory Code of Conduct, the fairness of negotiations and the current market rent rate of their leases. While some direction is in place, businesses will benefit from intervention to assist with clarification if what is fair and appropriate and cementing policies that establish clear guidelines and processes for both tenants and landlords.
- Mental Health: business owners continue to experience a negative impact on their mental health as a result of the effects of COVID-19. It is important that business owners are aware and look to take advantage of the mental health support available for businesses through both the NSW Government and through The City of Sydney.
- Cash Flow Management and Business Model: some acknowledged that their business model may require some change. Businesses are encouraged to consider how their business model may need to permanently transition and adapt, given that some changes that affect businesses in the Sydney CBD and immediate surrounds appear here to stay.
- Staying Informed: as witnessed over recent months, circumstances can change overnight and can result in a vastly restricted and changing environment. It is of benefit to all business owners and their advisors to stay informed of announcements about temporary assistance measures and regulatory changes.
Collaboration among Members Provides Support
The Chamber has worked closely with a group of Members to create collaboration groups that are willing to share information and work together to provide services and expertise.
There are a number of these groups with expertise. The Professional & Financial Services Group brings together experienced business advisors in accounting and business reconstruction experience, integrated finance advice, legal expertise, business sales, acquisition and valuations and financial services across business, residential and refinancing. The Property & Real Estate Group comprises expertise around property development, purchasing, renovating, valuation, conveyancing and financing.
If you have issues that require advice and expertise, ask a Member. More information is available here: https://cbdsydneychamber.com.au/Media-Publications/CBD-Sydney-Chamber-Roundtables-(1)
Chamber Membership Counts. Become A Member
The CBD Sydney Chamber connects, engages and supports businesses and people in business to achieve the best possible outcome - whatever the business conditions.
The Chamber provides access to clear information, business support services, training and upskilling opportunities for business owners and their teams, 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.