Only 6 per cent of Australian small businesses have seen growth due to pivoting in COVID times, with 60 per cent experiencing a decline in the last financial year and an additional 20 per cent staying static because of COVID restrictions, findings from the Titian Consulting State of Small Business in COVID Times survey released this week.
Key survey findings:
- 80% of Australian small business have declined or stayed static in the last financial year
- Businesses have changed the way they are planning for the future with more focus on cashflow planning and increasing new income streams to stay afloat.
- 70% of respondents had not availed of Federal Government backed loans for small business
- Of those who did 58% found them very difficult to access because of the length of turnaround time, lack of information available and disqualifications or a lack of clarity on access for sole traders and micro businesses.
- 65% do not believe the Government is providing enough support to small business. They want more financial assistance (41%), more explanation of the Government’s future COVID plans (36%) and more notice and time to implement regulations (23%)
70 per cent of respondents had not availed of Federal Government loans for small business, and of those who tried more than half (58 per cent) found them very difficult to access with the major reasons cited as the length of turnaround time, lack of information available and disqualifications or a lack of clarity on access for sole traders and micro businesses.
An overwhelming 65 per cent do not believe the Government is providing enough support to small business. They want more financial assistance (41 per cent), more explanation of the Government’s future COVID plans (36 per cent) and more notice and time to implement regulations (23 per cent).
“The COVID impact to the micro and small business sector has huge future implications as well as causing a year of devastation in many industry sectors,” explains Hilary O’Dwyer Founder of Titian Consulting.
“The contribution of small business to the Australian GDP is equivalent to more than 32 per cent of the economy and they employ 44 per cent of the workforce; without the right support, explained clearly and accessed easily, we are going to lose not only these important businesses but local employers, community supporters and innovators across the country”.
The ongoing uncertainty is having a significant impact on the future growth of small business with 53 per cent of respondents more cautious in their business planning and 15 per cent considering more safety nets to weather financial difficulties. Only 15 per cent are now more bullish about their business plans. Despite that, businesses remain somewhat hopeful for the future of their companies.
“If businesses believe that are small, they will stay small,” adds Hilary. “If they are afraid of expansion whether that is in their product or service range, employee headcount or their premises in case of extended or new lockdowns, they not only lose their current market but their future opportunities, and that has a knock-on effect on our communities and economy as the small business sector contributes so much to Australian life”.
The Titian Consulting State of Small Business in COVID Times surveyed over 100 small businesses across Australia in August 2021. Respondents were based in ACT, QLD, NSW, SA, TAS, VIC, and WA and working across all industries. Provided by: Titian Consulting