Impact of COVID-19 on Businesses in Western Sydney – WSU Student Projects

We are now six months into the coronavirus pandemic that has changed life as we know it and the economic impact of COVID-19, and its associated shutdowns on the national, state and local economies have begun to be demonstrated. Students of Western Sydney University (WSU) undertaking the 200537 Economics & Finance Engagement Spring Project have been asked to prepare a report on how businesses in a particular local government area are affected by COVID-19
during the first wave and second wave of virus spread and the importance of government support programs, such as JobKeeper, to keep them afloat. The report will provide recommendations and insights that will also engage policy and decision makers. Summaries of the projects are listed below.

The students will be undertaking this project over the next two months, if you would like to assist or are interested in the study please send me an email: k.tannous@westernsydney.edu.au

Project Summaries:

Impact of CoVID-19 on Gyms – Blacktown

Using surveys, the group will determine people’s attitudes towards gyms and the fitness industry in general as a result of the pandemic. The aim is to understand how consumers feel about joining or remaining as a member of gyms in a post-CoVID world and how their gym has handled the pandemic. There is no intended survey population although the group is aiming to survey 1000 people in the Blacktown area. 

Impacts of CoVID-19 on food retailers – Camden

The group will conduct research into the impacts of the pandemic on food retailers, including grocers, butchers and convenience stores, in Camden LGA. Data will be collected through surveys and interviews with business owners as well as in-person observations done through visits to stores. The group aims to survey 100 business owners and provide recommendations for Camden Council to help improve the economic livelihood of food retail businesses.

Impact of CoVID-19 on Westpoint Centre and Narellan Town Centre – Blacktown and Camden LGAs

The group will use questionnaires and interviews to determine the impacts of the pandemic on Blacktown’s Westpoint Centre and Camden’s Narellan Town Centre. Both property managers/operators and retail business owners will be surveyed with a focus on small businesses whose revenue has suffered as a result of the pandemic. The group aims to better understand the difficulties occurring for retail tenants and property managers.

Impact of CoVID-19 on Fuel Sales – Blacktown

Through the use of survey and observation, the group will analyse the impact of CoVID-19 on the fuel retail industry within the Blacktown LGA. The target survey population is 100 residents or 50 businesses in the Blacktown area. Findings will be presented to the Australian Service Station and Convenience Store Commission (ASSCSC) and used to create recommendations for how to increase revenue in this sector and mitigate the impacts of the pandemic.

Close examination of the international food section of Coles and Woolworths – Blacktown

Through the use of survey, this group will determine consumers’ attitudes towards the international food section at Woolworths and Coles in the Blacktown LGA. This study is informed by the increase in supermarket spending and decrease in dining out as a result of the CoVID-19 pandemic as well as the large proportion of Blacktown residents that are ethnically diverse or born overseas. The target demographic of this study is ethnically diverse people aged 16 and over in the Blacktown area.

Impact of CoVID-19 on the Health and Fitness Industry – Canterbury/Bankstown

Using surveys and interviews, this study will determine the present concerns in the fitness industry in regards to CoVID-19. The study aims to interview three business operators as well as conduct a survey amongst consumers with the goal of achieving responses from 100-200 individuals who engage in the fitness industry in the Canterbury-Bankstown area. With this data, the study will set forth proposals that the health and fitness industry can undertake to best adapt to the current changes in clientele and safety practices.

Impact of CoVID-19 on Cafes and Restaurants – Blacktown & Camden

Using simple survey methods, the group will determine the impact of the pandemic on restaurants and cafes in the Blacktown and Camden LGAs. The data collected will undergo a comparative analysis and results will be provided to Blacktown Council with recommendations on how to better support businesses in the food services industry.

Impact of CoVID-19 on Restaurants – Bankstown

Surveying customers, employees, owners of restaurants and cafes, and delivery partners, the group will determine the impacts of the pandemic on food services in the Bankstown LGA. The desired sample size is 60-70 respondents in each of the aforementioned categories. The findings and subsequent recommendations will be presented to the NSW Business Chamber.

Impacts of CoVID-19 on Hotels in Western Sydney

Through the use of observation and surveys, the group will determine both the consequences of the pandemic on hotels and whether or not the Government’s response to the economic impacts of the pandemic was adequate in helping hotels stay in business. Both low and high end hotels will be surveyed in order to collect data across a range of businesses and better understand how accommodation services have changed as a result of the pandemic.

Impacts of CoVID-19 on Cafes and Restaurants – Canterbury-Bankstown

Using online surveys, the group will ascertain the effects of the pandemic on businesses in the food services industry, such as cafes, restaurants and pubs, in the Canterbury-Bankstown region. Data will be used to develop recommendations for the City of Canterbury-Bankstown on how to better assist businesses at this time.

Impact of CoVID-19 on Supermarkets – Bankstown

Through the use of questionnaires and interviews, the group will aim to better understand how supermarket demand has been impacted by the pandemic. The target survey audience is consumers in the Bankstown LGA ages 17 and above. The findings will be presented to Bankstown City Council with recommendations on how to better support supermarkets in the area.

Impacts of CoVID-19 on Postal and Courier Service Industry – Blacktown

Through the use of online surveys and interviews, the group will determine the effect of the pandemic on parcel deliveries and postal service experiences overall. Participants will include both individuals over the age of 15 and business owners in the Blacktown LGA. The group hopes to get responses from at least 20-30 individuals.

Impacts of CoVID-19 on Hospitality Staff – Canterbury-Bankstown

Using surveys and interviews, the group will determine the attitudes of workers in the hospitality sector, primarily those at cafes, restaurants and takeaway services (CR&T) in the Canterbury-Bankstown area. Approximately 50 CR&T businesses will be phoned and the survey will be sent to those who wish to participate with the aim of achieving 100 responses. The data will be provided to the Restaurant and Catering Association of Australia (R&CA) along with recommendations on how to best support hospitality staff at this time.

Impacts of CoVID-19 on Health and Medical Industry – Cumberland and Bankstown

Using surveys and interviews, the group will determine the impacts of the pandemic on medical services from both a patient and practitioner perspective. The target population of survey respondents, of which the group hopes to have 100, are patients in the Cumberland and Bankstown LGAs. Additionally, phone and in-person interviews with medical practitioners and staff in the Bankstown and Cumberland areas will be conducted, with a goal of achieving 10 interviews. The data and subsequent industry recommendations will be presented to NSW Health.

Impact of CoVID-19 on Clubs – Canterbury-Bankstown

Through surveys and interviews, the group will determine the attitude of individuals towards attending Clubs. The target demographic is Club patrons in the Canterbury-Bankstown area as well as in the Cumberland area in order to conduct a comparative analysis. The results will be analysed and used to create recommendations that will be presented to NSW Clubs to help mitigate lower attendance rates in the very short term and medium term.

Impacts of CoVID-19 on the Aquatic Industry – Cumberland and Canterbury-Bankstown

By gathering both qualitative and quantitative data, the group will conduct a comparative analysis of the effects of the pandemic on the aquatic industries in Cumberland and Canterbury-Bankstown LGAs. Approximately five to ten businesses will be targeted for the survey and interviews with individuals in the industry will be conducted in person or over Zoom. The findings will be presented to relevant stakeholders with recommendations on how to adapt to the changing times.

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