Households are using the pandemic to build their nest eggs and guard against recession, with investments and savings trending higher since the start of 2020. This is evidenced by the average total balance of Commonwealth Bank Term Deposit and Savings Accounts (which account for a large portion of the market), increasing by 5% over the months of January to July 2020. Before the pandemic, total household income grew by 4% a year according to the Commonwealth Bank. It has grown 11% a year between January and August 21, 2020. Low growth in salaries and wages, including the job keeper payments, was offset by increased government benefits. However, purchases on Commonwealth Bank Credit and Debit Cards only increased by 8% a year over the same time frame.

During COVID-19, it is reported that half of Australia’s franchise stores recorded a substantial reduction in revenue, with Cafes, Restaurants, Gyms, and Child-Related Businesses among those most affected. A Pulse Check Survey was conducted by the Franchise Council of Australia of 70 franchisees covering 12373 stores nationally. Approximately 46% of survey respondents reported that revenue was less than half compared with the June 2019 quarter. Consequently, 35% recorded increases in revenues, with takeaway food, health, and freight businesses amongst those benefitting. The Franchise Council revealed the greatest challenges in the June 2020 quarter were landlord issues (54%), the health and wellbeing of franchisees and staff (54%), and franchisee financial performance (52%). What are your thoughts? What or have you struggled with during this time?