Coronavirus update for business: Harvey Norman’s bumper coronavirus season, budget postponed, and Netflix is too powerful for Aussie internet

Gerry Harvey

Harvey Norman founder Gerry Harvey. Source: AAP.

Budgeting time

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced the government will be postponing the federal budget until October 6, 2020.

Previously, it was expected to be released on May 12.

At a press conference, Morrison said all other Aussie states and territories would likely also be working to “similar timetables”.

The postponement hardly comes as a surprise in this time of economic uncertainty.

“The idea that you can actually put together any forecasts around the economy at this time is simply not sensible,” Morrison said.

Netflix vs Australian internet

As (most) Australians commit with gusto to social distancing, Netflix is a causing noticeable strain on internet services.

The streaming giant is apparently in talks with the government and internet service providers to reduce the quality of its streams.

If implemented, Aussies will have to binge-watch Love is Blind at the lowest bitrate, thereby reducing the amount of internet traffic each viewer creates.

Pool’s out

Following news last week that Uber was scrapping its Pool service in the US and Canada, the same measures are being rolled out in Australia.

Andrew Macdonald, senior vice president of global rides and platform operations, tweeted on Saturday to confirm that the Pool service has been cancelled globally, including in Australia.

The ridesharing company is striving to “help flatten the curve of community spread”, he said.

Harvey’s heyday

And finally, according to Harvey Norman’s ever-outspoken founder Gerry Harvey, the behemoth Aussie retailer has seen sales go through the roof since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis.

The billionaire electronics mogul told 60 Minutes “this is an opportunity”, claiming sales are up 9% on last year.

Particularly, sales on freezers are up 300%, he said, and air purifiers are up 100%.

However, Harvey also suggested the panic-buying response is a big fuss over nothing.

“There’s pretty much nothing to be scared of,” he said.

NOW READ: Australian banks to pause repayments on $100 billion in small business loans

NOW READ: Government announces a $66 billion second coronavirus stimulus: What’s available to small businesses, and how do I claim it?


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