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RDA Gold Coast business survey reveals extent of COVID-19 havoc on Gold Coast economy

RDA Gold Coast business survey reveals extent of COVID-19 havoc on Gold Coast economy

A survey of over 200 Gold Coast businesses by Regional Development Australia (RDA) Gold Coast has revealed the staggering extent of COVID-19 impacts on our tourism-reliant economy, with 95% of respondents suffering a change in revenue, 45% needing to close during the pandemic (ranging from 8 weeks to 5 months) and 70% impacted by cash flow issues.

RDA Gold Coast Director Estella Rodighiero said that with 65% of respondents reporting that they need JobKeeper to stay afloat and fully one third not confident in their ongoing viability, the government-funded economic development agency chaired by Nick Scott and supported by his committee, have stepped up to connect individual businesses directly with a range of financial supports, assistance and resources.

“If anyone or any company noted in the survey that they required assistance in any area – staffing, redundancies, rent relief or lease negotiations, rate relief, cashflow, loans, supply chain issues, mental health, whatever – we immediately secured a department or officer who could give them the assistance they required,” she said.

Ms Rodighiero added that nearly half of respondents were in the tourism or accommodation sectors.

“Obviously, tourism is a major economic driver for the Gold Coast, so the closure of the Queensland border and cessation of international flights has had an impact which is still very much ongoing.

“We are working very closely with the Queensland Tourism Industry Council, Destination Gold Coast, State Development, Tourism and Innovation, the City of Gold Coast, ATO, the Rural Financial Counselling Service and a range of other Queensland State Government Departments to secure the right contacts for referrals and connect businesses up with exactly the support they require.”

The survey also reveals:

  • 37% of respondents have had to defer payments on loans
  • 31% needed help with paying recurrent expenses
  • 27% have requested or received decreased insurance premiums
  • 43% have had some rent relaxation or reduction
  • 18% are still experiencing difficulties obtaining supplies to operate.

“Cashflow is king in business - cashflow issues can cripple even a profitable operation, so helping businesses obtain whatever financial relief they can possibly get to smooth out expenses is a current focus,” Ms Rodighiero said.

She added that RDA Gold Coast is also deeply involved in developing broader, longer-term strategies to diversify the Gold Coast’s economic base, including supporting investment in Industry 4.0 - the automation and digitization of supply chains and use of advanced technologies to increase efficiencies and competitiveness.

“On the Gold Coast, Industry 4.0 technologies are benefiting sectors such as manufacturing, health and medical technology, space and aerospace, textiles, additive manufacturing, food technology, sport and film.
“RDA Gold Coast is supporting the development of Industry 4.0 clusters to help ensure that beyond this pandemic, the Gold Coast can emerge as an internationally competitive force and provide the jobs of the future for our residents.”

For more information on COVID-19 support services and resources for Gold Coast businesses, go to:

 Download COVID-19 Business Impact Survey



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