Back in Business? WA Small Businesses and the Impact of COVID-19

WhereOnline - Microsoft Teams
WhenFriday 5 February 2021, 7.30am - 8.45am

Registration has now closed. For issues accessing the live stream event, please email bcec@curtin.edu.au.

Due to the current five-day lockdown impacting the Perth Metropolitan, Peel and South West areas, this event has now moved online and is free to access.

If you registered for the in-person event, you are automatically registered for the online event. A link to access the event via Microsoft Teams will be sent via email on Thursday 4 February. Instructions on Viewing the event via MS Teams.

We are in the process of refunding any paid tickets. You should receive an email from us in the coming days to confirm your refund has been processed.

For more information, please contact bcec@curtin.edu.au.


The impact of COVID-19 has been felt across the economy and business sector, but for small businesses these shocks can be more challenging to deal with, with fewer resources to draw from.

The latest lockdown is a set-back for WA’s small businesses, with business closures and restrictions putting a hopefully temporary halt to the small business sector’s recovery.

But we now know what supports can help small businesses the most.

The Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre has captured new data to understand the impact COVID-19 has had on small businesses, whether they have the supports needed to succeed and how they see the future outlook.

Hear new findings from the 2020 BCEC Small Business Survey including the significant costs, workforce and other pressures businesses have experienced and their expectations for the year ahead.


Four headshots in a row of Sinead Taylor, Commissioner David Eaton, Rachael Ferguson and Prof Alan Duncan

Join Jessica Strutt with panellists:

Report findings will be presented by Deputy Director Rebecca Cassells and Senior Research Fellow Daniel Kiely from the Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre.


Date Friday 5 February, 2021

Time 7.15am (7.30am start) – 9.00am

Location Microsoft Teams

Cost: Free

A confirmation will be emailed to each participant once registered, with an event link emailed prior to the event.

Please note registrations close at 12.00pm AWST on Thursday 4 February.

Instructions: Viewing the event via MS Teams

About our panellists

Sinead Taylor, Executive General Manager, Bankwest

Sinead is an experienced and highly regarded banking executive, bringing a rich international perspective from more than two decades of commercial banking experience. She was appointed Executive General Manager of Bankwest in October 2019, having joined Bankwest in 2013 as the Executive General Manager Business Banking, before being appointed in 2017 to also lead Retail Banking as Executive General Manager Personal & Business Banking.

Prior to Bankwest, Sinead held a variety of Executive roles at Commonwealth Bank in Global Markets, Strategy, Marketing, Business and Corporate Banking. She has also managed strategy and marketing teams for a number of top tier professional service firms in the UK and Australia, as well as working in senior roles in publishing, radio production and broadcasting.

David Eaton, Small Business Commissioner, Small Business Development Corporation

David Eaton is Western Australia’s Small Business Commissioner and Chief Executive Officer of the Small Business Development Corporation (SBDC).  In this dual role, he is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the SBDC including its dispute resolution service.

The Commissioner also provides advice on policy and regulatory matters impacting on the small business sector, to all tiers of government.

David has extensive business management experience, both as a small business owner and in senior executive positions in Western Australia and Victoria.

Rachael Ferguson, Synxbody Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Business News 40under40 First Among Equals winner

Rachael Ferguson is an award-winning entrepreneur, podiatrist, author and CEO of Australian footcare company SynxBody.

After landing a deal with Andrew Banks on the TV show Shark Tank in 2015, Rachael has grown the company rapidly, creating a wide range of footcare products available nationally in Chemist Warehouse and selected pharmacies.

Rachael regularly speaks at seminars and in the media about common podiatry topics, general health and entrepreneurship. She has also published a wide range of blogs and videos on common podiatry complaints and is also an ambassador for Women’s Entrepreneurship Day (WED) which is a non-profit organisation to empower, support and celebrate women in business.

Alan Duncan, Director, Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre

Professor Alan Duncan is Director of the Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre and Bankwest Professor of Economic Policy at Curtin University. Prior to taking up this position in 2012, Alan was Director of the National Centre for Social and Economic Modelling (NATSEM) at the University of Canberra. He was previously Head of School and a Professor of Economics at Nottingham School of Economics, University of Nottingham and has also held positions at the University of York and the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS).

Alan’s research is motivated by a passion to influence public debates on economic and social issues through rigorous, evidence-based research.