Coronavirus update for business: Redbubble’s double trouble, big queues for booze, and a lifeline for Sydney startups


Redbubble's Martin Hosking and former chief Barry Newstead. Source: supplied.

Double trouble for Redbubble

As the economic reality of the coronavirus crisis bites, Redbubble has become one of the first big-name startups to announce its taking cost-cutting measures.

According to the Australian Financial Review, the ASX-listed business is encouraging staff members to move to a four-day week, while executives will take a 20% cut to their salaries.

The coronavirus outbreak came at a particularly tricky time for the business.

In February, founder Martin Hosking stepped back into the chief executive role, replacing his replacement Barry Newstead, who was terminated after ‘below-expectations’ performance saw Redbubble’s stock crash 43%.

Sydney Startup Hub survives

Residents of the Sydney Startup Hub have had at least one weight lifted, as the New South Wales government offers tenants a six-month rent holiday to help them survive the economic downturn caused by the coronavirus.

It means co-working spaces such as Fishburners, Stone & Chalk and TankStream Labs, will have more of a chance of emerging on the other side.

The government doesn’t own the premises, but holds the master lease, and will continue to fund the rental agreement on behalf of tenants, for the time being, InnovationAus reports.

Booze queues

Big booze retailers including Dan Murphy’s, BWS and Aldi have followed in the footsteps of the supermarkets, introducing purchase limits as demand spikes.

As pubs close and social distancing restrictions set in, bottle shops have been inundated by thirsty Aussies stocking up their fridges and liquor cabinets.

According to Commonwealth Bank, spending on alcohol from bottle shops is up 86% compared to the same week last year.

Customers are now limited to two cases of beer or cider, 12 bottles of wine, and two bottles of spirits — but you’re only allowed two categories of alcohol in total.

A good day to fell a tree

If you’re looking to be completely mesmerised, kind of bamboozled and also to learn a little something all at the same time, the Labour Market Information Portal has released an interactive graph mapping the Australian occupations most at risk of contracting COVID-19, based on physical proximity and the potential for exposure.

Surprisingly enough, GPs, dental hygienists and critical care nurses take the crown for most at risk, with cardiologists also finding themselves at the pointy end of the chart.

But, it’s a good time to be an author, an illustrator or a professional tree feller. (I mean, when isn’t?)

NOW READ: Coping with COVID-19: A checklist for hospitality businesses to adapt during unprecedented times

NOW READ: JobKeeper subsidies for sole traders: How do I know if I’m eligible, and how much money will I get?


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