Annual Business Survey

Metropolis Research was commissioned to undertake the Annual Business Survey for the City in October 2021. A total of 375 surveys were conducted, with all Hobart suburbs represented in the data.

Top industries represented were: retail (24.5%), professional and support services (13.3%), construction (9.3%), health care & social assistance (8.3%), accommodation/food/beverage (6.4%). Of the participating businesses, 65% employ 1-5 staff.

The objective was to measure business community satisfaction with a range of services provided by the City, satisfaction with aspects of governance and leadership, and to explore business community sentiment across a range of additional issues of concern.

Please also see our Annual Customer Satisfaction Survey.

The scores used in the Metropolis Research report, are defined as follows:

  • Excellent – scores of 7.75 and above
  • Very good – scores of 7.25 to less than 7.75
  • Good – scores of 6.5 to less than 7.25
  • Solid – scores of 6 to less than 6.5
  • Poor – scores of 5.5 to less than 6
  • Very poor – scores of 5 to less than 5.5
  • Extremely poor – scores of less than 5


Satisfaction with the City of Hobart's overall performance across all areas of responsibility was 'solid' with a score of 6.25 out of a potential 10. There was no significant variation of satisfaction by precinct or size of business and period of operation, with the exception of new businesses who scored satisfaction as excellent.

Business Survey summary 2021(PDF, 147KB)

Customer service

About 40% of the respondents had contacted council in the previous 12 months. The most common reasons for contacting council were for planning, building and development issues and parking related matters. The overall satisfaction with customer service was 7.05 or a good level of performance.

Services and facilities

The survey measured the importance and satisfaction associated with 14 City-provided services and facilities. The services that were ranked as most important were:

  • Waste and recycling collections
  • Food safety and health inspections
  • Provision and availability of parking
  • Planning and building permit processes

The average satisfaction rating across all services was 6.40 out of 10 – or a solid level of performance. The services that received the highest satisfaction ratings were:

  • Food safety and health inspections
  • Waste, recycling and FOGO collections
  • Street lighting
  • Footpaths

Areas identified for improvement include:

  • Provision and availability of adequate and affordable parking
  • Planning and building permit processes
  • The management of local traffic
  • Statutory consultation and involvement in the development application process

Satisfaction with selected attributes of Hobart

The attractiveness of Hobart city was rated at a very good level of satisfaction, while the vibrancy of the local area, and local community events receiving a good level of satisfaction.

The top suggestions for a more vibrant and welcoming city were:

  • More free parking / less parking meters
  • More parks / gardens and green open spaces
  • Community events and festivals
  • More multicultural events

Business performance and confidence

One-third of respondents had seen an increase in their turnover during the last three years, although a similar proportion reported a decrease from the 2019-20 financial year. The main industries that reported a decrease in turnover were tourism and accommodation, and food and beverage businesses. The main factors constraining growth were fewer tourists and visitors, lack of appropriate staff and new government regulations.

The average impact of COVID-19 on businesses was mildly negative. The industries impacted the most were tourism, accommodation, and food and beverage businesses.

On average, there was a strong level of confidence in the local Hobart and Tasmanian economy and a moderate level of confidence in the Australian economy. The manufacturing industry showed a high level of confidence across all sectors of the economy.

Business Survey key rankings at a glance (375 respondents)

Category Result (rated out of 10)
Overall performance 6.25 (solid)
Safety 8.78 day (excellent) / 7.70 night (very good)
Food safety & health inspections 7.95 (excellent)
FOGO collection 7.87 (excellent)
Waste collection 7.84 (excellent)
Recycling collection 7.47 (very good)
Customer service
7.05 (good)
Business confidence 7.09 (good)
Services & facilities 6.40 (solid)
Responsiveness to business needs 6.31 (solid)
Local economic development 6.28 (solid)
Provision of footpath space for dining 6.25 (solid)
Management of local traffic 5.00 (very poor)
Planning & building permit processes 4.99 (extremely poor)
Provision & availability of parking 4.58 (extremely poor)