NSW businesses have welcomed customers back through their doors this week, with the personal services industry experiencing a 412 per cent spike in spending compared to last week, according to CBA merchant data*.

Tense shoulders, unpainted nails and unkempt hair are no longer the norm. The CBA data shows in the four days since restrictions eased (compared with last week), NSW residents spent big at remedial massage businesses (up 735 per cent), hairdressers and barbers (up 694 per cent) and health and beauty spas (up 676 per cent).

The second most popular purchase after personal services, was spending at clothing stores. Forget online scrolling or window shopping, NSW clothing retailers have seen a 336 per cent increase in turnover in the four days post restrictions easing, compared with same period the previous week.

With more people getting out and about, there’s also been an increase in spending at jewellery stores (up 419 per cent), home furnishing stores (up 245 per cent), and toy and game shops (up 235 per cent). 

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It would seem Australians are also preparing for a further easing of restrictions and gearing up for potential travel, with purchases at luggage stores up 830 per cent.

Key shopping districts also saw a jump in turnover with Miranda (up 203 per cent), Bondi Junction (up 157 per cent) and Liverpool (up 154 per cent).

CBA Group Executive, Business Banking, Mike Vacy-Lyle said: “It’s fantastic to see everyone across NSW rally to support businesses both large and small and spending big.

“I have spoken to many of our business customers in the last few days and they have been overwhelmed by the customer support they’ve experienced. I love hearing stories about local hairdressers receiving flowers from their returning clients or local cafes welcoming customers back through their doors. It’s been a challenging time for the small business community in particular, and their continued resilience is a credit to their drive and dedication to their communities.

“As we head into the weekend, we expect spending to surge and many NSW businesses will certainly be busy. While it’s an exciting time, we understand businesses continue to face unique challenges, even as restrictions ease."

Mr Vacy Lyle also said CBA has seen increases in business loan applications and a rise in leased office space.

CBA has approved more than 30 per cent more business loans in September than the same month last year.

Q3 2021 office market data reveals the amount of leased office space has started to rise once more, with an extra 195,000 square metres leased. Commercial property occupancy increased in both the Melbourne and Sydney CBDs. 

“The amount of office space leased in Australia is still well down on pre-COVID levels, but it is definitely increasing,” Mr Vacy-Lyle said.

“We want businesses to thrive and we’re here to support your business needs. We have 24/7 support and a range of resources to help you with everything from preparing a business plan, to navigating through reopening, to managing cash flow and maximising social media opportunities.”

For more information and business resources visit www.commbank.com.au/business.

* Data based on NSW CBA merchants data (terminals and eCommerce) from 4-7 October 2021 (inclusive) compared with 11-14 October 2021 (inclusive).