95 businesses closed: Qld region hardest hit in tough year


THE number of new business in Queensland rose last year with sole traders becoming an increasingly important part of the job market during a period marked by the coronavirus lockdown.

Xero Boss Insights 2021 report, authored by demographer Bernard Salt, found that across Australia there was a net increase of about 47,000 new business in Australia who gained an ABN number.

According to the report, Queensland accounted for 7358 new businesses with Greater Brisbane making up about 4900 or a 2.4 per cent rise in the 12 months ending in June last year. Over that period there were 1590 new business registered on the Gold Coast and 876 added on the Sunshine Coast.

Those increases were offset by 95 businesses closing in Gladstone and 49 in Warwick and 46 in Cairns. Numbers also fell in Maryborough, Yeppoon and Mt Isa.

"Southeast Queensland and Brisbane is still the place of business growth and opportunity," Mr Salt said.

"If you look at it in absolute numbers there has been growth in numbers the central core like the Brisbane CBD (2pc), Fortitude Valley (7pc) and then overflow areas like Eight Mile Plains (7pc), North Lakes-Mango Hill (7pc) and Pimpama (21pc).

Mr Salt said while new business growth was down across the board compared to the previous 12 months sole traders remained the "bedrock" of the economy.

"The pandemic did not dampen the entrepreneurial energy of the sole trader segment of the job market," he said.

Emily Ridley left a job at a large accounting practice and began running her own business, Emerge Advisory.
Emily Ridley left a job at a large accounting practice and began running her own business, Emerge Advisory.

Emily Ridley, who recently moved her accounting and book keeping practice into co-working space in Scarborough in Brisbane's outer north, made the move because of the pandemic to go out on her own last year and set up Emerge Advisory.

"People have now completely reassessed that work-life balance. They don't have to go into the office to work and I can work anywhere and be more productive in an awful lot of cases," she said.

"I've gotten really busy because of new businesses - especially sole traders - with people wanting to want to go out and work for themselves."

Mr Salt said Brisbane followed national trends with most new business growth being in the construction, professional service and healthcare sectors.

There was also strong growth in transport, postal and warehouse-focused businesses with couriers and food delivery and Uber businesses increasing.

Mr Salt said the report found a reduction in the number of microbusinesses - those employing between one and four people - because of the impact of the pandemic.

"Some small business owners appear to have scaled back operations to sole trader status, perhaps to wait out the pandemic before springing back into life," he said.

"This certainly happened in the second half of the year. They were on pilot light mode and then whoosh, they started to expand.

"So I think the policy implications for a successful recovery is to encourage a sole trader to take a risk, take on an apprentice, put on support people or another worker, when things get better."



Suburbs, net business closures

Belmont-Gumdale: -54 (-5%)

Alexandra Hills: -53 (-6%)

Coorparoo: -50 (-3%)

Caboolture South: -43 (-5%)

Ipswich - Central: -42 (-5%

Capalabla: -32 (-2%)

Wynnum: -31 (-2%)

Shailer Park: -28 (-3%)

Stafford: -28 (-4%)

Wakerley: -25 (-3%)


Suburbs, percentage decline

Leichhardt - One Mile: -20 (-8%)

Thornside: -17 (-7%)

Upper Caboolutre: -18 (-6%)

Alexandra Hills: -53 (-6%)

Petrie: -24 (-6%)

Belmont-Gumdale: -54 (-5%)

Brassall: -19 (-5%)

Caboolture-South: -43 (-5%)

Ipswich-Central: -42 (-5%)

Westlake: -18 (-4%)



Suburbs, net business growth

Brisbane City: 286 (2%)

Fortitude Valley: 192 (8%)

North Lakes-Mango Hill: 156 (7%)

Eight Mile Plains: 153 (7%)

Newstead-Bowen Hills: 152 (5%)

Rochedale-Burbank: 149 (15%)

Springfield Lakes: 147 (16%)

Runcorn: 136 (10%)

Boronia Heights-Park Ridge: 124 (17%)

Forrest Lake-Doolandella: 113 (7%)


Year to June 30, 2020

Source: Xero Boss Insights



Net business growth (smaller font)

Brisbane City up 2% (286)

Fortitude Valley 8% (192)

Eight Mile Plains 7% 153)

Newstead-Bowen Hills 5% (152)

Rochedale-Burbank 15% (149)

Runcorn 10% (136)


Year to June 30, 2020

Source: Xero Boss Insights

Originally published as 95 businesses closed: Qld region hardest hit in tough year