A cluster of “gaybourhoods” in Sydney has suffered financially due to the coronavirus crisis. 

This however was no news to the owner of Corkscrew Darlinghurst, Justin Goldsmith, who said his business had been hit hard as his regular clientele – also residents of the suburbs worst hit – had less disposable income.

A new financial impact index shows Alexandria felt the economic downturn as a result of the international pandemic more than any other city suburb, followed by neighbouring Erskineville and Surry Hills. 

The nearby postcode of Newtown also ranked among the 10 worst affected, all of which were identified in the country’s most popular areas for gay men and lesbians. 

 The COVID-19 Financial Impact Index developed by Taylor Fry, an analytics and actuarial consulting firm, detailed how the demographics of these suburbs left them exposed to income losses relative to pre-pandemic levels.

Mr Goldsmith said being in the heart of the action on Oxford Street, he has witnessed first hand just how tough the pandemic has been on the residents. 

He added a lot of his regulars from suburbs such as Surry Hills are renters and their incomes have been slashed by the current situation. 

“They have been dramatically affected by no work, or a lot of their incomes are down to the JobKeeper or the Seeker, and from what I am gathering from locals – landlords have not been greatly sympathetic,” Mr Goldsmith said. “This means most of their money is going towards bills, so they have less disposable income.”

Mr Goldsmith said while many liquor stores in suburbs have seen increasing trade, those in the inner city areas are not so fortunate. 

“Our business was down by 40 per cent, it is only just crawling back,” he said. “We are doing the right thing, but it has hit us hard. We just want the fun back.” 

 Before coronavirus hit, residents in the postcode 2015 were eight per cent more likely to earn between $104-$156k a year compared to the rest of the state. 

Many more were also likely to be chasing careers in architecture, engineering, tertiary education and computer system design than others in NSW. 

Residents in Surry Hills, however, were more likely to be employed in industries such as law, accounting, food service and advertising and earning above $65k. 

Erskineville inhabitants were more likely to work in tertiary education, architecture, engineering and computer system design – compared to the state average – and earning above $52k. 

Due to them earning in a medium-to-high income bracket those who lost their job or would receive a higher impact rating, as the income support packages would not fully cover their pre-pandemic costs of living.

The financial impact index uses the latest industry and employment-related data published by the Bureau Of Statistics in combination with the most recent census information to identify the financial effects of the crisis by postcode.

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