The role of small businesses in driving WA’s economic recovery post-COVID-19

Centre PersonnelAlan Duncan, Rebecca Cassells, Daniel Kiely, Steven Bond-Smith
Project FundingDepartment of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation
Project StatusCurrent (August 2020 to January 2021)

Project Summary

The impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the global economy has introduced an important new context to WA’s diversification and regional economic development strategies, and importantly, the role that small businesses can play as an engine of growth for the state’s economy.

There are more than 220,000 small businesses across Western Australia employing nearly 500,000 workers, some 41% of the state’s private sector workforce. Many businesses have and will be impacted disproportionately by the COVID-19 pandemic.

This project will uncover important insights into the response of WA’s business community to the crisis, including adaption to trade, innovative approaches to doing business, as well as highlighting the cost, workforce and other pressures they may be experiencing.

The project will include a future focus, exploring the skills, capabilities and partnerships that will best position Western Australia’s small businesses to be at the leading edge of the state’s economic recovery post-COVID-19.

This research will also include a new survey of small businesses across metropolitan and regional areas of WA, with a specific focus on the impact of COVID-19 across all dimensions of business activity, the protections afforded by state and federal support packages, the potential benefits from new policy instruments, and crucially, the conditions and capabilities required for businesses to pivot effectively a post-COVID-19 world.