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Silver lining from pandemic

Posted: 12pm 21 Aug 2020

Business in the Moreton Bay Region may be able to future-proof themselves by learning lessons from the COVID-19 crisis, according to researchers from the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC).

USC’s School of Business has joined with Innovate Moreton Bay to investigate business resilience and innovation among entrepreneurial firms during the pandemic.

Dr Retha de Villiers Scheepers, Senior Lecturer in Entrepreneurship and Innovation at USC, said the research team was looking for owners and managers who had changed business models to adapt, using online platforms to engage new customers.

Adding value

“Many business owners we would like to talk with have come up with ingenious changes to their products to provide value to their customers, with some saying they have never been so busy,” Dr de Villiers Scheepers says.

Innovate Moreton Bay’s Regional Innovation Coordinator Steve Butler says those taking part in the research will have a chance to showcase their business by highlighting achievements.

“We’ve seen innovations across a diverse range of industries and this has not been limited to technology-focused innovations,” he says.

Finding hope

Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) suggests the coronavirus pandemic has hit small businesses across the country, particularly tourism and arts.

“The cash flow out of two out of three businesses, across all sectors, has been affected by the restrictions, with many deferring loan payments, standing down staff and renegotiating leases,” says Dr de Villiers Scheepers, “yet some have sought the silver lining in the crisis.”

Sign-up today

The project builds on existing entrepreneurship research in the region and aims to support economic development efforts to bring about long-term recovery.

Small businesses in the Moreton Bay Region who have been operating for 13 months or more, are invited to register their interest here.

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