A Positive Spin on COVID-19

I’m depressed. It seems everywhere I look worldwide, there is nothing but bad news. Covid-19, Trump, China, Russia and Europe, I’m sick of it all.
I’d like to be on an island somewhere with no information good or bad about the outside world. 


Everyone I talk to seems to be feeling the same level of bad news burn-out.
There is next to nothing else on the news but the COVID 19 pandemic and its ramifications for business and personal lives.

It is clearly not going away yet and it seems that Australia has not necessarily dodged the bullet of the second wave either!

The Government has announced that the cliff -edge deadline of 30 September for Job Keeper and Job Seeker programs have been extended and modified, with relief from employers and employees.

I read that there are 3.5 million people on the Job Keeper program and 960,000 businesses using it. However it is obviously postponing the inevitable for some businesses and the most likely beneficiaries will be those legal eagles running receiver and insolvency management services. I suspect they will be able to cherry-pick the best clients too.

Businessman Under Rainbow

Looking for Some Positives

The news media seem to delight in giving us all the bad news so I thought I’d have a go at finding some positives that may turn into business opportunities for enterprising and “make it happen” types.

So if you don’t want to rely on a doubtful return to the way things used to be BC (Before Covid) then maybe you will find this interesting.


Let’s start with those who are unemployed, or about to be. It’s not their fault and they can’t be labelled by Governments as dole bludgers or lazy, which seemed to be the case Before Covid (BC). Year 1BC!

The Australian Government and others worldwide seem to have realised the futility of keeping a hunk of Australians in poverty is not very good for the economy or to stimulate business. A family with no money to buy things equals no sales for businesses that sell things!

So, you can bet that Job Seeker benefits, retained after 30th September, will be better than the disgraceful pittance that existed for years BC and was supposed to encourage a search for full time work that did not exist.

If you are one of the many unemployed or an employee or owner of a business which fails as a result of Covit-19, you are not a drain on the economy, but a vital part of the recovery. Money you receive and spend keeps businesses afloat and more people employed.

Working from Home


There seems little doubt that working from home worked well for a lot of employees who normally commuted every day to offices in cities around the country. Brisbane was like a ghost town, with no one in ten story office buildings except bored security guards and trains as well as busses just about empty.

Assuming a percentage of these workers start making a habit of working from home at least some days during the working week, you have to wonder if the billions scheduled to be spent on expanding commuter transport could be better used on something else.

The rise of the home office has proved a market opportunity for business equipment and office furniture sales. What else could be sold to this new market segment?

An article I have just read by University Lecturer on Architecture Norman Day pointed to another fall out from working from home….. Lots of empty city office buildings.

He suggested that many of these buildings could be converted into residential housing for minimal cost as all the structure and infrastructure and is already built. The open plan design is ideal for an internal build using non-structural walls.

There’s an opportunity for some creative architects and builders!

The Baby Boombers

Despite the Covid Virus killing a lot of older people thereis a real lot of baby boomers around who remain the biggest market segment in the country.

They are tech savvy and in general fairly well off and have been buying on line instead of visiting shopping centres, have mixed feelings about cruises and won’t be going overseas!

They are concerned about the future for their children and grandchildren and are keen to help them if they can.

They are concerned about the future for their children and grandchildren and are keen to help them if they can.

What can you sell them instead?

Airlines Grounded Worldwide

This is a huge opportunity for our government in Australia to buy up a couple of good airlines like Qantas and Virgin Blue for fire sale prices and open up Australia to support the in-bound tourism industry. 

Only the Government can gain from multiple market segments while operating at little or no profit margin. The interest rates on Government borrowings are pretty low and potential payback excellent.

A big island like Australia needs air transport as a critical component of its economy, so if the market economy can’t provide it then the Government should.

Online Shopping & Delivery

On-line shopping and the delivery services associated with it have boomed as a result of COVID-19.

Customers are buying absolutely everything on-line now and having it delivered and not just locally, but nationally and internationally!

And instead of eating out, eating in, with the best menu in town and Uber Eats delivery!

Australian Made

Now’s the time to get serious about “Australian Made”!
And all the other angles “Australian Grown”, “Australian Manufactured”, “Employing Australian Workers”, “100% Australian owned”.

Customers understand that buying Australian and Australian owned equals jobs for Australians and the multiplier effect of them spending their wages in Australia and supporting more Australian businesses.

You should promote your Australian Made status and if you want to use the Kangaroo logo on your products and in adverts then you need to register and to pay a modest fee. Starts at $300 and is calculated on annual product sales.

Just go to www.australianmade.com.au. It is a not for profit and the money is spent promoting the Australian Made symbol and products.


There has been a paradigm shift for purchasing managers from “Price” to “Continuity of Supply”. The experience of production lines brought to a stop with one component not available from China due to the pandemic quickly nullifies the benefit of a low price.

Australian manufacturers have a wonderful opportunity to provide an alternative supply source for components that could be in short supply sometime in the future. It is like having a gun, but no bullets, not very effective!

A purchasing manager who ignores the need for alternative and preferably Australian sources of supply could be in trouble if another pandemic arrives.

There could be a real business opportunity in providing backup component supply for other manufacturers so remind your customers and prospects that you are Australian, manufacture here and you are proud of it.

Australian Made Government Support

It seems likely that stimulus packages involving public infrastructure will be channelled through Local Government. In this case I suggest that the paradigm shift should be focussed away from “Lowest Price” and on to “Australian Made” and “Australian Owned”.

The value of the re-spend multiplier effect should be calculated and considered as a bonus when price is compared with an overseas sourced project / construction. An example could be the trains operating now in Brisbane which were sourced from India. Local manufacture may have been more expensive but the spin-off of components, employment and skill development would have been significant.

So the advice is to make the benefit of Australian Made / Australian Owned, clear to all your customers. Particularly to those responsible for spending our money to stimulate our economy! Rather than spending our money stimulating the economies of other countries.


Thinking through some of the positive opportunities resulting from COVID-19 has eased some of my depression. We know the future is now very different one from what we anticipated only a year ago.

But as I sat in the sun with my coffee this morning chatting with a good friend, I came to the conclusion that life was pretty good in general and that we were pretty lucky being here in Australia.

Hope you are also able to reach the same conclusion.


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