Impact on business revenue in the first half of 2020 has been significant, with 85 per cent of SMBs and 76 per cent of large businesses claiming an average decrease of 42 per cent and 27 per cent respectively, compared to same period last year.
The research found that SMBs have been more likely than larger business in having to close or stop operating temporarily as a result of the current crisis but the SMBs that remained open seem to be more resilient than larger businesses. Some 28 per cent of SMBs have had no change to their business operations whatsoever while only 11 per cent of larger businesses fell into this category. A further 13 per cent of larger businesses are fully open and have had an increase in their business, while only five per cent of SMBs experienced an increase.
Impact on employment
Most businesses are unsure or now see business being negatively impacted for an extended time period (nine-plus months). Where larger business has tackled the crisis by asking staff to take annual or long service leave (50 per cent) most SMBs’ (47 per cent) staff have been put on reduced hours to manage the rolling restrictions. Larger businesses have also shed casual staff at a greater rate (40 per cent) than SMBs (18 per cent).
The number one challenge concerning all businesses is cashflow and with concerns about how to increase sales a close second. Larger businesses are more likely to face challenges trying to make do with less staff, managing limited supplies and customers, while SMBs are more likely to find challenging balancing business with personal/ household responsibilities.