Journalism in the age of Covid-19

The world is a noisy place. So much chatter. So many points of view. There’s a flood of facts flowing through our phones. How many of those facts are true? And how can today's journalist report on news and feature stories that people can connect to?

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These articles are part of a mini-series featuring the work of QUT journalism students who travelled to Indonesia in November 2019 as part of the Australian government's New Colombo Plan Mobility scheme.

Beaudesert Gates & Steel owner, Greg Egan. Picture: Matthew Simmonds

Australian businesses bucking the trend under COVID-19

Posted on  Posted in BusinessConsumerNational, NewsQUT News

By Matthew Simmonds

Some Australian businesses reported record-breaking sales numbers this year, both due to – or in spite of – the unprecedented impact of COVID-19.

Small businesses such as Beaudesert Gates & Steel recorded a sales spike in April, which owner, Greg Egan, said had not dropped.

“It just kept going, like, it was just amazing. I said, ‘well it’s gotta stop soon’, but soon still hasn’t come,” he said.

The coronavirus and subsequent working from home orders meant an increased demand for hardware products, bringing foot traffic to an all-time high at the small community business.

The coronavirus and subsequent working from home orders meant an increased demand for hardware products, bringing foot traffic to an all-time high at the small community business.

Mr Egan said it was a common trend within the hardware business sector.

Big-name corporations like Woolworths, JB Hi-Fi, and Officeworks, also recorded continuous revenue growth throughout 2020.

The supply of essential items such as furniture, cleaning products and food, as well as leisure items for the home including digital devices and gaming accessories, made some of the big competitors big winners financially.

Gary Mortimer, Australian retail expert, said the COVID-19 induced success was seen across businesses in the food retail and appliance sectors.

“Having that big kick has certainly pushed their revenue line and profit into strong results for the full year,” he said.

But the Australian economy still faces serious concerns.

Mr Mortimer said the success stories were only a glimmer of positivity to COVID-19’s overall financial impact.

“Despite, you know, I guess, sales rebounding to some extent, it’s still a very small drop in the ocean.

“COVID-19 has certainly taken a significant hit to the Australian economy,” Mr Mortimer said.

Australia is still on the long path to economic recovery, but some business owners are just happy to ride the unexpected success wave while they can.

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