The Great Business Bounce Back

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NAB transaction data released today reveals Victorians are estimated to have spent more than $2 billion across the state in the first full week out of lockdown (from 30 October to 6 November).

With more than $200 million estimated to have been spent at restaurants (up 23% on pre-lockdown transactions), more than $800 million on retail (up 25%) and more than $38 million on accommodation (up 72%), it’s clear Victoria is back in business.

Melbourne businesses are benefitting from an overall estimated customer spending increase of 21% compared to pre-lockdown while regional Victoria is roaring forward with an increase of 28% in the same period.

In comparison to New South Wales’ first week of reopening, NAB’s transaction data found Victorians spent almost $50 million more at restaurants (up 30%) and $70 million more on retail (up 10%) than their New South Wales counterparts.

NAB’s Executive for Small Business, Ana Marinkovic attributed the astounding Victorian result to additional pent up demand following the state’s longer and stricter restrictions.

“We’re seeing a really strong rebound right across Victoria and New South Wales,” Ms Marinkovic said.

“Small businesses have really done it tough over the last 19 months, and in the lead up to Christmas they’ll need all the support they can to get back in the best possible position.

“Bells Beach Brewing in Torquay is a great example of a resilient Australian business. During lockdown and travel restrictions across Victoria, they saw their business decline dramatically. The team are now looking forward to some huge weekends with customers from right across Victoria eager to get back to the beach and explore Torquay.”

Bells Beach Brewing’s co-owner Adam Smith said strong community partnerships had been key to the business’ resilience throughout the pandemic.

“When we needed to serve food to be open, we rang a local burger truck and said, ‘Come and do your takeaway from our car park,’” Mr Smith said.

“It’s worked out really well for us as there are great synergies between our beers and their burgers, although it’s not that great for my waistline.”

Bells Beach Brewing also used the COVID downtime to improve their business.

“We got a loan through NAB to do some expansion works during one of the lockdowns earlier this year when things were quiet. Torquay had its busiest summer ever last year and it’s probably going to be the same again.”

NAB Business Banker Erin Unkovich with Bells Beach Brewing co-owner Adam Smith.

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