Businesses adapting to survive amid coronavirus pandemic

How companies are keeping their doors open.

While countless businesses have been forced to close their doors as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, many have diversified and found different ways to be of service.

The businesses which have survived have found themselves altering from their standard operating procedures to provide services or products which benefit health authorities and the community at large.

Queensland University of Technology (QUT) Business School Professor Gary Mortimer said there would be businesses forever transformed by COVID-19.

“During times of uncertainty and fear, businesses, like humans, adopt a ‘fight or flight’ response,” Prof. Mortimer said.

“Some have simply closed their doors, while others have pivoted, adapted and taken a more innovative approach to doing business in highly dynamic times.”

Prof. Mortimer highlighted Bundaberg Rum and other distilleries as key examples of adaptability as the alcohol manufactures were now making hand sanitiser to combat the spread of COVID-19.



“With a worldwide increase in demand and critical shortage, this new production will be essential – a bit like the production of weapons in wartime,” Prof. Mortimer said.

“Others are adapting by taking their business off-site and having employees work from home.

“These are challenging times and it would seem easier to simply close the doors, but businesses need to really look at how they can adapt, innovate and face the challenge head on.”

QUT Entrepreneurship Executive Director Professor Rowena Barrett said the global health crisis would undoubtedly lead to business pivots.

“Some of the world’s biggest companies famously pivoted to become the success stories we know today,” said Prof. Barrett.

“Twitter began as a place people could find podcasts while Starbucks used to sell espresso machines and coffee beans and Nintendo produced playing cards, vacuum cleaners, instant rice, a taxi company and even a short-stay hotel chain before becoming a force in gaming.”

State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning Minister Cameron Dick said his department was working to identify more businesses, manufacturers, suppliers and producers who could retool and transition to the production of essential health-care supplies and other necessities

“This is the time to think laterally and broadly about how you and your business can adapt and contribute to our state’s COVID-19 coronavirus response,” he said.

“You might think it’s a long shot but innovation is critical right now.”

If you believe your business can help, the Queensland Government has created a short online form, available at to connect manufacturers with any new suppliers, producers and networks they may need.