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75% of SMEs want current stimulus measures extended until 2021
Mon 13 July 2020 - 6:32 amSmall Business
The vast majority of SMEs want stimulus measures to be extended further to help them recover from the impacts of the pandemic. This is according to Wave 11 of ACA Research and TEG’s COVID-19 Tracker (published 2 July) which shows that 75% of SMEs want current stimulus measures extended until 2021.
The results are part of a weekly survey of 300 businesses around Australia and cover sentiment, revenue impact, and perspective on Government relief packages.
Short term expectations are also sluggish, with just over one third (37%) expecting increasing revenues over the next 4 weeks.
Confidence amongst the hospitality and construction sectors has declined considerably, but there is stronger sentiment amongst retailers.
With most SME decision makers believing the pandemic will have a medium to long-term impact on the global and Australian economies, it is not surprising that nearly half expect their workforce to be negatively impacted for at least 6 months.
Business spending and investment plans are also on hold, with 65% suggesting lower expenditure until 2021.
Satisfaction with the Government has also declined with the uptick in new cases in Victoria undermining the ongoing recovery. There has also been a significant increase in dissatisfaction in QLD as the State Government remains very cautious regarding border restrictions.
The lower levels of confidence reported this week, has translated into much higher levels of concern regarding business survival with a jump from 57% to 69% compared with previous surveys.
ACA Research, Managing Director, James Organ said, “The data reported is very disappointing. As most decision makers expect a medium to long-term impact of COVID-19, the outlook is not promising especially with the new outbreak in Victoria.
“With cashflow and employee retention becoming more challenging for many SMEs, it would appear further job losses and bankruptcies are highly likely and hence the extension of stimulus and support measures and the introduction of bankruptcy protection seem inevitable.”