Builders need a digital boost

New data confirms the impact lockdowns have had on small businesses in the building and construction sector and shows the need for measures to support increased digital uptake and capacity building to accelerate recovery from COVID lockdowns.

The data, released by MYOB in its Small Business Health Index shows lockdowns have immediate impacts for the building and construction sector. As of 22 October total invoice creation was down 31%, gross pay was down by 23% and employment was down by 16% compared to baseline. Denita Wawn, CEO of Master Builders Australia said, “These insights are particularly important for our industry as we move forward out of lockdowns.”

This data highlights the impact that low levels of digitisation, particularly for SMEs have on businesses. Invoicing is down across the board, with in-person invoicing rendered impossible during lockdowns. Businesses with low levels of digitisation have been exposed as less resilient.

“COVID has been an accelerator of existing trends such as digitisation and has provided tangible evidence of how low levels of digital uptake hurts small business in our sector,” Denita Wawn said.

“Digitally advanced SMEs are 50% more likely to succeed in growing. Supporting SMEs to become larger businesses will be increasingly important if the construction industry is to expand and address structural shortages in housing supply and infrastructure.

“With the construction industry home to more SMEs than any other industry, meaningful digital adoption will have perhaps the greatest impact in business recovery and improving business resilience.”