After COVID-19: Opportunities and challenges

Mark Frost - Chief Economist, Business NSW 

10 April, 2020

The world will be a very different place after COVID-19. While it is difficult to predict what that future looks like, Business NSW has given some thought to the likely opportunities and challenges that will arise as industries adapt to rapid changes in consumer preferences.

Tell us what you think.


Engineering construction will be boosted if governments expand infrastructure investment. Fast tracking approvals may also give a sugar hit to residential construction. Over the longer-term, lower migration may place downward pressure on population growth and underlying housing demand.


The community will likely demand a more resilient health system. Technology may drive a revolution in the delivery of health services. Technologies such as machine learning may free human talent to better meet patient needs. Research into low probability, high impact risks may become a priority.


Some Australian businesses were unable to obtain key inputs from overseas suppliers. Sharp demand shocks have made it difficult to source critical medical supplies. There may be increasing appetite for Australia to become self-sufficient, particularly in critical areas such as medical supplies.

Technology and communications

Lockdown measures have precipitated rapid changes in the way businesses and teams work. Forcing large cohorts to work remotely has placed pressures on existing IT infrastructure. Organisations are likely to increase their investments in productivity-enhancing tools to support decentralised teams.

Education and training

Funding and delivery models may need to adapt to respond to challenges in the international market. Education and training markets may become exposed to more competition as remote learning and Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) become increasingly embraced.

Delivery and logistics

Theodore Levitt said, “People don’t want to buy a drill, they want to buy a hole!” COVID-19 is likely to accelerate how businesses reassess their value proposition. Traditional retail and food businesses have been disrupted by new models underpinned by innovations in delivery and logistics.

Risk services

Investors will likely become more attune to the risks posed by events such as COVID-19. To attract capital, businesses will need to increasingly demonstrate they have taken actions to mitigate risks. Professional services will be in increasing demand to give confidence the right strategies are in place.


Tourism has been heavily impacted by the pandemic. There is uncertainty about how long it will take to rebuild overseas visitor numbers. Australians will also look to holiday at home and there will be an increasing appetite for tourism experiences that correspond with domestic preferences.

We’re interested in hearing from businesses on how they’re adapting and what they see on the horizon.
Tell us what’s on the cards for your business or industry.


COVID-19 Special Edition Report: Business Conditions Survey March, 2020
Regional data from Business Conditions Survey
Industrial data from Business Conditions Survey

Editorial: Targeted support needed for those most affected