Annual Business Survey

The City of Hobart has commissioned a business survey to be undertaken from Monday 16 January to the end of March 2023. 

During this time you may receive a call from an independent social research agency, Metropolis Research. 

The survey will explore a range of matters facing businesses in Hobart including satisfaction with the City of Hobart, issues affecting local business and confidence in the local, state and national economy. 

It will also measure the business community’s satisfaction with decision-making and responsiveness to business and economic needs.

The results will help inform the City of Hobart’s strategic and organisational directions and service delivery. The results will also provide information that will benchmark performance year on year and compare it to other local governments’ performance. 

The survey will involve 400 telephone interviews with a representative sample of randomly selected Hobart businesses based proportionally on business type. 

Please be assured that the details and responses provided are confidential. Only the overall results will be shared with the City of Hobart.

Frequently asked questions

Why are you conducting a business survey?

The survey is being undertaken to assess business confidence now and for the future, explore the issues being faced by the business community in Hobart and establish business satisfaction with the services provided by the City of Hobart.

How often is the survey done?

The survey is done every 12 months.  

Why isn’t the survey online and open to all to participate?

The respondents for this survey are selected randomly to ensure a comprehensive cross section of businesses are included. Undertaking the survey by phone helps ensure the sample group will reflect the underlying business profile of the City of Hobart.  

Who is conducting the survey?

The survey is being conducted on behalf of the City of Hobart by Metropolis Research in Melbourne.

Why is the survey being conducted by Metropolis Research? Why don’t you do the survey yourself?

To ensure the survey is independent and being done correctly and without bias we have commissioned an accredited social research company, Metropolis Research.

How will the survey be done and how long will it take?

The survey will be done through telephone interviews (landline and mobile) and will take approximately 15 minutes.

I don’t have time to do the survey, can I do it at another time?

Yes, if you’re busy when contacted you can arrange to be called back at a time that will suit you better or for the survey to be sent to you via email.

How was I selected?

Respondents are selected randomly from businesses in Hobart based on business type. 

How did Metropolis Research get my phone number?

Metropolis Research purchases a random sample of phone numbers from a broker.  The City of Hobart has not provided the contact details.

Will my details be shared?

Your details and responses are confidential. Only the overall results and analysis will be shared with the City of Hobart.

What will happen with the results?

Metropolis Research will provide a report and analysis of the results. The City will use the results to identify issues that are most important to the business community and levels of satisfaction with the City of Hobart. The results will inform our strategic and organisational directions and improvements/changes to service delivery.

The results will provide the City with information with which we can benchmark performance against year on year and also compare to other local governments performance. 


Annual Business Survey 2021

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)