Business needs survey 2022

These survey results will assist our decision making and how we allocate our local business grants, capacity building programs and other support.

Survey report book cover

New economic strategy – have your say

Your ideas will help shape a new economic development strategy to support long-term economic growth and prosperity for our communities.

This survey report identifies emerging trends, challenges and opportunities for our local business sector.

As we continue to gradually recover from the 2020 Covid outbreak, these results show cautiously optimistic views with the return of international tourists, students and workers. They also consider the challenging broader economic outlook ahead.

This is our third annual business needs survey.


Economic outlook

  • There’s been a surge in business confidence compared to the previous 2 years
  • 75% of respondents expect their business will be financially better off in 12 months – a significant jump from 2021
  • The local economy overall has now recovered to pre-pandemic levels but recovery has been uneven across sectors

Impact on operations

  • 79% of consumer-dependent businesses in the city centre have seen reduced capacity levels since the pandemic
  • 50% of businesses are still operating at below pre-pandemic capacity, particularly very small businesses with under 5 employees and consumer-dependent industries
  • Consumer-dependent businesses across our more suburban southern and eastern areas have seen less impact on operations


  • Consumer-dependent businesses are generally looking for financial aid such as grants, precinct promotion, marketing and events that will boost foot traffic
  • Office-based businesses are looking for less red tape and regulation, and assistance with finding skills-based employees
  • Over a third of respondents indicated they require support in finding employees and skilled workers
  • 52% of respondents are looking to strengthen their social media marketing and communication skills while 46% of respondents are looking to improve customer acquisition and retention
  • Businesses are also looking for more strategy and planning support as well as resilience and continuity
  • 22% of businesses are looking for mental health and wellbeing support

Industry insights

  • The hardest economically hit industries have been hospitality, retail and tourism
  • The return of students, tourists and migrants is set to drive economic growth over 2023

We’ll use the insights of this survey to design programs and initiatives to support our local business community to thrive.

Business needs survey 2022PDF · 4.84 MB · Last modified