Although it is still more than four months away, nearly one in three small businesses (29 per cent) say that when the Federal Government’s JobKeeper program finishes at the end of March, it will have a major impact on their business.
According to the November Sensis Business Index, the impact will be felt greater in metropolitan areas with 35 per cent saying it will have a major impact compared with just 14 per cent in regional areas.
Sensis CEO John Allan says the biggest impact will be felt in Victoria and Queensland.
“Thirty-five per cent of small businesses in those two states said the loss of JobKeeper would have a major impact. We were expecting Victorian businesses to take a hit but were surprised that Queenslanders also expect to be badly affected,” he says.
The Sensis survey is of 500 business owners/managers across all states and across 10 business sectors. It was conducted by data insights platform Glow in the first weeks of November. Twenty-five per cent of the businesses survey had 50 employees or more and 59 per cent of businesses had been operating for more than 10 years.
“The sector expecting the biggest impact at the loss of JobKeeper is the Wholesale sector – so those businesses that keep Australia’s small businesses supplied. Forty-two per cent said it would have a major impact, followed by Manufacturing at 40 per cent and Retail at 32 per cent.”
The Hospitality sector again showed its resilience, with just 22 per cent saying it would have a major impact. Construction believes it will be least impacted at just 12 per cent.
Fifty-three per cent of surveyed businesses said the loss of JobKeeper would have a moderate effect, with nearly one in five, 18 per cent, saying it will make no difference. Twenty-two per cent of businesses in Hospitality and 11% in Retail said it would make no difference.
An estimated 3.5 million Australians have been paid JobKeeper, equivalent to one in four workers.
One fifth of surveyed Hospitality businesses said they were back to pre-COVID business levels, but 23 per sent said they would not get to those levels for more than a year.