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SMEs Under Pressure As Pandemic Subsides

Small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) have been hit by economic decline due to Covid-19 which has affected 35pc of SMEs, down 20 percentage points compared to this time last year, and old pressures are creeping back to pre-pandemic levels, according to a MYOB Business Monitor survey.

The research found top business concerns to be cashflow and the cost of utilities, felt by 32pc of respondents. The greatest increases include access to finance, a pressure for 26pc of respondents up from 20pc in December and late payments from customers increased to 29pc from 25pc.

As some businesses return to normality, traditional concerns are creeping back in, according to Emma Fawcett, MYOB’s general manager SME.

“It’s an unfortunate return to ‘business as usual’ for the country’s 2.29 million SMEs with 14 of the 16 business pressures measured by the MYOB Business Monitor increasing in the last six months,“ Fawcett said.

The Monitor shows a marked difference in confidence for the coming year by industry, with 78pc of finance and insurance SMEs predicting the economy will improve in the next 12 months, compared to a national average of 57pc. Retail and Hospitality are at the other end of the spectrum with only 46 percent predicting uplift.

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