March 16, 2020

Over 60% of Australian businesses affected by COVID-19 coronavirus – up from only 15% in mid-February

Topic: Press Release, Special Poll
Finding No: 8328
RMR Logo

In mid-March over 60% of Australian businesses report being affected by the COVID-19 coronavirus, up a massive 45% points from a month ago according to a special Roy Morgan Snap SMS Survey of 1,148 Australian businesses.

Analysing the results in more granular detail shows 17% of businesses report being affected ‘A great deal’ by COVID-19 coronavirus (up 15% points from a month ago), 31% have been ‘somewhat’ affected (up 23% points) and a further 12% (up 7% points) have been affected ‘A little’.

Only 40% of businesses now report not being affected ‘at all’ by COVID-19 coronavirus, down from 85% of businesses a month ago.

Coronavirus hits Manufacturing, Wholesale and Recreation & Personal industries hard

Several industries have been hit especially hard by the COVID-19 coronavirus. Over 70% of businesses in Manufacturing (78%), Wholesale trade (74%), Recreation & Personal (83%), Information Media & Telecommunications (75%), Property & Business Services (74%) and Transport, Postal & Warehousing (72%) report being affected to the COVID-19 coronavirus to some degree.

States hit hard led by New South Wales, Victoria & South Australia

At a State based level the biggest impact from COVID-19 coronavirus has been felt in South Australia (68% of businesses report being affected), New South Wales (65%) and Victoria (64%). There were big impacts noted in Tasmania as well on a small sample of businesses interviewed.

Over 70% of Small, Medium & Large Businesses affected by COVID-19 coronavirus

Analysing businesses on the annual level of turnover shows huge majority of larger businesses have been affected by the COVID-19 coronavirus.

A super majority of 81% of ‘Small Businesses’ with an annual turnover of between $1-$5 million report being affected by COVID-19 coronavirus – higher than businesses of any other size.

This compares to 73% of ‘Large Businesses’ with an annual turnover of $50 million or above and 71% of ‘Medium Businesses’ with an annual turnover of between $5-$50 million.

The least affected are the ‘Micro Businesses’ with an annual turnover of less than $1 million. Even so, a majority of 58% of these micro businesses report being affected by the COVID-19 coronavirus.

Roy Morgan Chief Executive Officer Michele Levine says the COVID-19 coronavirus presents an unprecedented threat to the Australian economy with stock-market falls of around 30% over the last three weeks only one indicator of the trouble facing businesses:

Block Quote

“Over 60% of Australian businesses are now reporting being affected by the COVID-19 coronavirus to at least some extent. This is up a massive 45% points since Roy Morgan last asked this question a month ago in mid-February.

“Just under a fifth of businesses (17%) report being affected ‘A great deal’ while nearly a third (31%) say they have been ‘somewhat’ affected. A further 12% report being affected ‘A little’.

“These numbers are even more alarming for particular industries including Manufacturing, Wholesale trade, Recreation & Personal, Information, Media & Telecommunications, Property & Business Services and Transport, Postal & Warehousing. Over 70% of businesses in these industries report being affected by COVID-19 coronavirus.

“When it comes to turnover over 70% of businesses with a turnover of at least $1 million report being affected by the COVID-19 coronavirus – dealing a devastating blow to an economy just starting to recover from the widespread summer bushfires.

“The Morrison Government has already promised over $20 billion in stimulus to keep the Australian economy moving however that figure will need to be raised many times over to truly protect the Australian economy from a devastating recession the likes of which Australia hasn’t seen this World War II.”

Further details on how the COVID-19 coronavirus and the recent bushfires have affected Australian businesses are available to view here.

Businesses affected by the COVID-19 coronavirus. March 2020 cf. February 2020

Source: Roy Morgan Special Snap SMS Poll of Australian businesses in Feb. 2020, n=1,170, March 2020, n=1,148. Base: Australian businesses.

Impact of the COVID-19 coronavirus on Australian Businesses – by State Head Office

#Sample sizes with fewer than 50 respondents should be treated with caution.

Impact of the COVID-19 coronavirus on Australian Businesses – by Annual Turnover

#Sample sizes with fewer than 50 respondents should be treated with caution.

For comments or more information please contact:
Roy Morgan - Enquiries
Office: +61 (03) 9224 5309
askroymorgan@roymorgan.com

Margin of Error

The margin of error to be allowed for in any estimate depends mainly on the number of interviews on which it is based. Margin of error gives indications of the likely range within which estimates would be 95% likely to fall, expressed as the number of percentage points above or below the actual estimate. Allowance for design effects (such as stratification and weighting) should be made as appropriate.

Sample Size Percentage Estimate
40% – 60% 25% or 75% 10% or 90% 5% or 95%
1,000 ±3.0 ±2.7 ±1.9 ±1.3
5,000 ±1.4 ±1.2 ±0.8 ±0.6
7,500 ±1.1 ±1.0 ±0.7 ±0.5
10,000 ±1.0 ±0.9 ±0.6 ±0.4
20,000 ±0.7 ±0.6 ±0.4 ±0.3
50,000 ±0.4 ±0.4 ±0.3 ±0.2

Related Findings

Back to top
Back To Top Arrow